REH Word of the Week: harry

verb

1. To make a pillaging or destructive raid on; 2. to force to move along by harassing; 3. to torment by or as if by constant attack

[origin: before twelfth century; Middle English harien, from Old English hergian; akin to Old High German herion to lay waste, heri, army, Greek koiranos ruler]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

From the Baltic Sea our galleys sweep
To South and West and East,
We bring our bows from the Northern snows
That the great grey wolves may feast.

To the outmost roads of the plunging sea
Our dragon ships are hurled,
We have broken the chains of the Southern Danes
And now we break the world.

Out of the dark of the misty north
We come like shapes of the gloam
To harry again the Southland men
And trample the arms of Rome.

The ravens circle above our prows
And our chant is the song of the sea.
They hear our oars by a thousand shores
And they know that the North is free.

[from “The Song of Horsa’s Galley”; for the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 57, Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 463 and Echoes From an Iron Harp, p. 77]