One Blood Strain

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One Blood Strain
by Robert Ervin Howard

Now autumn comes and summer goes,
   And rises in my heart again,
As witchfire glimmers through a pool,
   The mystic madness of the Dane.

Blue thunder of a foaming sea
   Reverberating through my sleep,
White billowing sails that fill and flee
   Across a wind-swept restless deep—

They speak to me with subtle tongue
   Of blue-bright ways my forbears trod,
When time the bearded Vikings bent
   Their oars against the winds of God.

And I am but a common man
   Who treads a dreary way ashore,
But oceans thunder in my dreams,
And blue waves break on creaking beams,
And foaming water swirls and creams
   About the strongly bending oar.

When summer goes and autumn comes
   To paint the leaves with sombre fires,
I feel, like throbs of distant drums,
   The urge of distant nameless sires.