1. a state of wild confusion or a disorderly retreat
[origin: 1598; Middle French route defeat, perhaps from mettre en route to set going, put into motion]
Black eyes flare, dark faces leer
Scimitars thrum on the leveled spear.
On they roar like a steel-tipped wall.
Shields are shattered and turbans fall.
Mingled and broken ranks arrayed
Knight to warrior and blade to blade.
The desert rocks to the reeling hosts
And the red wind roars with a thousand ghosts.
The broadswords clamor their wild refrains
As the red rout breaks o’er the crimson plains.
An old man’s fancy. The drowsy stream
Glides where the still bush-alders gleam.
’Tis warm and pleasant. My race is run.
I’m only fit to drowse in the sun.
But I’d like to take my sword and horse
And ride one last, wild gloried course.
To hear the thunder of fighting men
As when we shattered the Saracen.
To ride again on those wild raids,
To thrill with splendor of old Crusades.
[from “Crusade“; to read the complete poem see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 455 and Robert E. Howard Selected Poems, p. 186]