Saturday, January 22, 2022

And Silence I Was Born

Robert E. Howard (January 22, 1906–June 11, 1936)
By rose and verdant valley
And silence I was born;
My brothers were the mountains,
The purple gods of morn.

My sisters were the whirlwinds
That broke the dreaming plains-
The earth is in my sinews,
The stars are in my veins!

For first upon the molten
White silver sands I lay,
And saw the ocean beckon
With eyes of burning spray.

And up along the mountain,
And down along the lea,
I heard my brothers singing,
The river and the tree.

And through the ocean’s thunder,
And through the forest’s hush,
I heard my sisters calling,
The sea-wind and the thrush.

And still all living voices
Leap forth amain and far,
The sunset and the shadow,
The eagle and the star.

From caverns of the ocean
To highest mountain tree,
I hear all voices singing
Their kinship unto me.


  1. The best poet Texas ever produced, I believe.

    1. Ouch! I'm not even from Texas, but I feel compelled to defend her honor against your slur. Yes, maybe they can't claim anyone on the level of Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson, but Cyd Adams, Judson Crews, Greg Glazner, Roger Jones, M. Travis Lane, David Parsons, Larry Thomas, William Wenthe, and Susan Wood are all notable Texas poets. Maybe you can take some time to read their work as penance. :)

  2. I can't believe he was only 30 when he died. The age I was when my son was born into this world. I am celebrating Howard as well as 40 years of the release of Conan The Barbarian by watching an old VHS. I will watch Krull and The Sword and The Sorceror after that.

  3. Thanks for sharing. It’s the first time I felt a strong connection between Howard and Tolkien. But then again I haven’t read enough Howard to realize how close he felt to the natural world; just a few Conan short stories here and there. It’s a beautiful poem, and the prairies of Texas have produced many good poets. Until the cities of Texas ballooned over the last couple of decades it was hard not to be touched by the beauty of land there, harsh though it often was.