REH Word(s) of the Week: Apis Bull Essay

(Procession of the Apis Bull by Frederick Bridgman)noun1. A sacred bull of the ancient Egyptians, acting as an intermediary between humans and Ptah, the Egyptian creator god and the deity patron of artisans[origin: origin: 14th century; Latin, from Greek, from Egyptian ?p]HOWARD’S USAGE:The Persian slaughtered the Apis Bull;(Ammon-Ra is a darksome king.)And the brain fermented beneath his skull.

(Egypt’s curse is a deathly thing.)He rode on the desert raider’s track;(Ammon-Ra is a darksome king.)No man of his gleaming hosts came back,And the dust winds drifted sombre and black.(Egypt’s curse is a deathly thing.)The eons passed on the desert land;(Ammon-Ra is a darksome king.

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)And a stranger trod the shifting sand.(Egypt’s curse is a deathly thing.)His idle hand disturbed the dead;(Ammon-Ra is a darksome king.)Till he found Cambysses’ skull of dreadWhence the frenzied brain so long had fled,That once held terrible visions red.(Egypt’s curse is a deathly thing.)And an asp crawled from the dust inside(Ammon-Ra is a darksome king.)And the stranger fell and gibbered and died.

(Egypt’s curse is a deathly thing.)[from “Skulls and Dust”; this is the complete poem as it appears in The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 175 and Echoes From an Iron Harp, p.

71]

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