REH Word of the Week 2010 Revisited: faun

noun

1. one of a class of lustful rural gods, represented as a man with a goat’s horns, ears, legs, and tail; a figure in Roman mythology similar to but gentler than the satyr

[origin: Middle English, Old French faune Latin faunus

HOWARD’S USAGE:

“Gold morn’s laughing o’er the ocean, dawn’s awhisper
on the sea!
“And a silver brook is brawling, with its tiny cat’ract
falling,
“From the woodlands Pan is calling, come away, with me!
“Come away! Come away! Where the wood nymphs
laugh at play!
“There are trails through sapphire meadows, night times
soft with laughing shadows,
“Emerald isles in topaz oceans where the mermaids
flash in spray!
“Come away! Pan is prancing! Come away! The fauns are
dancing!
“And it’s my good time I’m wasting as I pause to sing this
lay!
“Come to the woodlands, away and away!”

You were the wind’s song, (starlight in your hair!)
I harkened to your singing, with wonder all a-stare.
Then to my forge I whirled and I gripped a mighty sledge
And I smashed the mighty anvil and flung it to the hedge.
I whirled on high the hammer and I hurled in the rill,
And the bellows and the forge I tumbled down the hill.
In the gold of the morning, my soul soared free,
And I laughed like a giant, and you laughed with me.
* * * * * * *
And your laughter was a chime, was the ripple of the rill,
As through the golden morning, we strode down the hill.
Your lyre was a breath from the far, far seas!
(Ah, your hair in the sunlight as it floated in the breeze!)
On my bow-legs I followed, wonder in my eyes,
All a-gape with wonder at your songs and your lies,
Tales of sea and city, and far, strange lands,
(Music of the gods from your slim, strong hands.)
Poems at your finger tips, jests on all you saw,
And each jest I greeted with uproarious guffaw.
As through the sapphire woodland we strode to meet
the dawn
On the roads o’ morning like a satyr and a faun.
* * * * * * *
The white roads o’ morning, the age’s golden truth.
We walked in green Arcady when the world was wild
with youth.

[from “Arcadian Days“; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 256 and The Collected Letters of Robert E. Howard, Vol. 1, pp 107]

Painting by Balaskas