Artist: Giulio Romano (Orbetto)
1. fetter, shackle
[Origin: 13th century; Middle English]
Crack of a whip in the dusky air,
Clatter of brazen wheels on the stones,
Thunders of drums and a trumpet flare,
And the king of kings is passing there,
While the wind o’ the ages drones.
Bronze face limned in the crimson sun,
Helmet of gold with a regal feather,
Flaming cloak that a princess spun,
Sandals of tinted leather.
Serfs and barons, knights of the lists,
Silver shackles upon their wrists
(But silver is sister to rugged steel);
Though proudly they wear their gleaming gyves,
And proudly they strut, they live their lives
Chained to the chariot wheel.
[from “Custom”; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 298]