REH Word of the Week: hautboy Essay


  1. oboe: a double-reed woodwind instrument having a conical tube, a brilliant penetrating tone

[origin: ca. 1575; Middle French hautbois, from haut high + bois wood]


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Grim, grim, grim the elephants were chanting,
Chanting in the jungle in the dim, dark dawn;
Through the waving branches were the late stars slanting,
Beating up the morning ere the night was gone.

Lion in the morning, crouching by the river.
Red birds flitting with a sing-song shrill.
Morning like a topaz, the green fronds a-quiver.
Scent of lush a-wafting in the dawn air still.

Moses was our leader when we came up out of Egypt—
Came up out of Egypt so many years ago—
When I think of magic, I always think of Moses,
Riding down to glory while the hautboys blow.

[from “The Dust Dance (1)”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 133; Echoes From an Iron Harp, p. 25; and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 13 (version 2)]