REH Word of the Week: galliot

The Evening Gun: an English three-decker with sails loosed and a galliot in the foreground (painting by Willem van de Velde, The Younger 1633-1700)

noun

1. small swift galley formerly used in the Mediterranean; a long narrow shallow-draft Dutch merchant sailing ship

[origin: 14th century. 1. Middle English galiot, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin galeota; and Dutch galjoot, from Middle French galiot]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

By the crimson cliffs where the spray is blown
By the silver sands and the rose red stone,
There bides a shadow—alone, all alone—
Waiting the day, waiting the day.
The wind comes out of the East at morn
When the sheen of the sea is green,
The wind comes up from the Matterhorn
And the great red ships careen.
The gulls carved white I the blasting blue,
Their wings are silver and snow;
They hear the great tides thunder through
To beat on the beach below—
They hear waves hammer on sands below,
The clash and the clamor, the flee and the flow,
The magic and wonder of reef riven thunder,
The sands going under the spray white as snow.
The sunset is calling,
The dawn’s on the lea;
The silence is falling
Across the white sea,
And dim through the scorn of a morn on the Horn
The galliots, galleys and galleons flee.
To the ends of the earth
And the roads of the world,
To the ocean’s broad girth
With their banners unfurled—
Will you laugh in the bend of a curse when the shout of the
Trade wind is hurled?

[from “Renunciation”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 267]