The Death Song of Conan the Cimmerian (from Savage Sword of Conan #8)

The road was long and the road was hard
And the sky was cold and grey:
The dead white moon was a frozen shard
In the dim pale dawn of day:
But thief and harlot, king and guard –
Warrior, wizard, knave and bard –
Rode with me all the way.
The wind was sharp as a wetted knife
As it blew from the wet salt seas;
The storm wind stirred to a ghostly life
The gaunt black skeletal trees
But I drank the foaming wine of life –
Wine of plunder and lust and strife –
Down to the bitter lees.
A boy from the savage north I came to cities of silk and sin.
With torch and steel in blood and flame
I won what a man may win:
Aye, gambled and won at the Devil’s game –
Splendor and glory and glittering fame and mocked at Death’s skull grin.
And there were foemen to fight and slay and friends to love and trust:
And crowns to conquer and toss away and lips to taste with lust:
And songs to keep black night at bay and wine to swill to the break of day –
What matter the end be dust?
I’ve won my share of your gems and gold
They crumble into clods:
I’ve gorged on the best that life can hold:
And Devil take the odds:
The grave is deep and the night is cold –
The world’s a skull-full of stinking mould –
And I laugh at your little gods!
The lean road slunk through a blasted land
Where the earth was parched and black.
But we were a merry jesting band
Who asked no easier track:
Rogue and reaver and firebrand –
And life rode laughing at my right hand –
And death road at my back.
The road was dusty and harsh and long –
Crom but a man gets dry! –
I’m old and weary and Death is strong
But flesh was born to die:
Hai Gods! But it was a merry throng rode by my side with jest and song –
Under an empty sky.
I’ve heard fat cunning priestlings tell how damned souls writhe and moan:
That paradise they can buy and sell for gold and gold alone:
To the flames with scripture and priest as well –
I’ll stride down the scarlet throat of hell –
And dice for the Devil’s throne!
I faced life boldly and unafraid –
Should I flinch as Death draws near?
Life’s but a game Death and I have played many a wearisome year:
Hai! To the gallant friends I made –
Slave and swordsman and lissome maid: –
I begrudge no foot of the road I strayed –
The road which endeth HERE!



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Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing this!