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The Road of Kings by R.E. Howard

Gleaming shell of an outworn lie; fable of Right divine-

You gained your crowns by heritage, but Blood was the price of mine.

The throne that I won by blood and sweat, by Crom, I will not sell

For promise of valleys filled with gold, or threat of the Halls of Hell!

When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,

The people scattered gold-dust before my horse's feet;

But now I am a great king, the people hound my track

With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?

I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;

Rush in and die, dogs - I was a man before I was a king!


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