REH Word of the Week: maul

noun

  1. a heavy often wooden-headed hammer used especially for driving wedges; a tool like a sledgehammer with one wedge-shaped end that is used to split wood

[origin: ca. 13th century; Middle English malle mace, maul, from Anglo-French mail, from Latin malleus; akin to Old Church Slavic mlatu hammer, Latin molere to grind]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

A silence falls along the halls;
The lions mutter in the gloom.
How Time along the hours crawls
Like some great sluggish worm of doom.

My heartbeats fall, a striking maul.
Because my thews are hard and strong,
Within the hour I must fall
To meet the blood lust of the throng.

Along the halls a trumpet calls.
The red arena glimmers nigh.
Thor, let me mock these fools of Rome,
And show them how a Goth can die.

[from “The Cells of the Coliseum”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 530; A Rhyme of Salem Town, p. 68 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 185]