REH Word of the Week: umber Essay

noun1. a brown earth that is darker in color than ocher and sienna because of its content of manganese and iron oxides and is highly valued as a permanent pigment either in the raw or burnt state[origin: ca.

1568; probably from obsolete English, shade, color, from Middle English ombre, umbre shade, shadow, from Anglo-French, from Latin umbra]HOWARD’S USAGE:Red swirls the dustO’er the Plains of Gilban,Stirred by the breezes that eddy the air.Carpeted, mingled, crimsoned with sword rust;Ages’ old relics of fierce battles there.West turns to umber,Ghastly the white east;O’er the red desert sandsSinks the sun dim.

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Like an old high priestOver the vague lands,Whisper the winds from the horizon’s rim.[from “The Plains of Gilban”; this is the complete poem as it appears in The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p.

280 and A Rhyme of Salem Town, p. 140]


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