Posted: December 26th, 2004 by Militant Libertarian

Written in Mission, Texas, February, 1932; suggested by the memory of the hill-country above Fredericksburg seen in a mist of winter rain.”

by Robert E. Howard


I remember

The dark woods, masking slopes of sombre hills;

The grey clouds’ leaden everlasting arch;

The dusky streams that flowed without a sound,

And the lone winds that whispered down the passes.

Vista on vista marching, hills on hills,

Slope beyond slope, each dark with sullen trees,

Our gaunt land lay. So when a man climbed up

A rugged peak and gazed, his shaded eye

Saw but the endless vista – hill on hill,

Slope beyond slope, each hooded like its brothers.

It was a gloomy land that seemed to hold

All winds and clouds and dreams that shun the sun,

With bare boughs rattling in the lonesome winds,

And the dark woodlands brooding over all,

Not even lightened by the rare dim sun

Which made squat shadows out of men; they called it

Cimmeria, land of Darkness and deep Night.

It was so long ago and far away

I have forgot the very name men called me.

The axe and flint-tipped spear are like a dream,

And hunts and wars are shadows, I recall

Only the stillness of that sombre land;

The clouds that piled forever on the hills,

The dimness of the everlasting woods.

Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night.

Oh, soul of mine, born out of shadowed hills,

To clouds and winds and ghosts that shun the sun,

How many deaths shall serve to break at last

This heritage which wraps me in the grey

Apparel of ghosts? I search my heart and find

Cimmeria, land of Darkness and the Night.


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