Adventurer

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Adventurer  (1926) 
by Robert Ervin Howard
Written in 1926 and sent in a letter to his friend Tevis Clyde Smith. First published in The Last of the Trunk Och Brev I Urval, 2007.

Dusk on the sea; the fading twilight shifts'
The night wind bears the ocean's whisper dim—
Wind, on your bosom many a phantom drifts—
A silver star climbs up the blue world rim.
Wind, make the green leaves dance above me here
And idly swing my silken hammock—so;
Now, on that glimmering molten silver mere
Send the long ripples wavering to and fro.
And let your moon-white tresses touch my face
And let me know your slim-armed, cool embrace
While to my dreamy soul you whisper low.

Dream—aye, I've dreamed since last night left her tower
And now again she comes on star-soled feet.
Welcome, old friend; here in this rose-gemmed bower
I've drowsed away your Sultan's golden heat.
Here in my hammock, Time I've dreamed away
For I have but to stretch a hand out, lo,
I'm treading langurous shores of Yesterday,
Moon-silvered deserts or the star-weird snow;
I float o'er seas where ships are purple shells,
I hear the tinkle of the camel bells
That waft down Cairo's streets when dawn winds blow.

South Seas! I watch when dusky twilight comes
Making vague gods of ancient, sea-set trees.
The world path beckons—loud the mystic drums—
Here at my hand the magic golden keys
That fit the doors of Romance, Wonder, strange
Dim gossamer adventures; seas and stars.
Why, I have roamed the far Moon Mountain range
When sunset minted gold in shimmering bars.
All eager eyed I've sailed from ports of Spain
And watched the flashing topaz of the Main
When dawn was flinging witch fire on the spars.

I am content in dreams to roam my fill
The vagrant, drifting sport of wind and tide,
Slave of the greater freedom, venture's thrill;
Here every magic ship on which I ride.
Gold, green, blue, red, a priceless treasure trove,
More wealth than ever pirate dared to dream.
My hammock swings—about the world I rove.
The sunset's dusk, the dawning's glide and gleam,
Moon-dappled leaves are murmuring in the wind
Which whispers tales. Lo, Tyre is just behind,
Through seas of dawn I sail, Romance abeam.

This work published after December 31, 2002 is in the public domain in the United States because the author died at least 70 years ago. This is a posthumous work and may be copyrighted in certain countries and areas, based on how many years after posthumous publication, rather than how many years after author's death.

This work may still be copyrighted in jurisdictions not applying the rule of the shorter term to U.S. works.