REH Word of the Week: drinking-jack Essay

noun

1a - REH Word of the Week: drinking-jack Essay introduction. a drinking vessel, often of leather; 1b. a drinking measure holding half a pint; also, one holding  a quarter of a pint

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[origin: archaic; from Old French jaque, of uncertain origin]

HOWARD’S USAGE:

The white gulls wheeled above the cliffs, the air was slashed with foam,

The long tides moaned along the strand when Solomon Kane came home.
He walked in silence strange and dazed through the little Devon town,
His gaze, like a ghost’s come back to life, roamed up the streets and down.

The people followed wonderingly to mark his spectral stare,
And in the tavern silently they thronged about him there.
He heard as a man hears in a dream the worn old rafters creak,
And Solomon lifted his drinking-jack and spoke as a ghost might speak:

“There sat Sir Richard Grenville once; in smoke and flame he passed,
“And we were one to fifty-three, but we gave them blast for blast.
“From crimson dawn to crimson dawn, we held the Dons at bay.
“The dead lay littered on our decks, our masts were shot away.

[from “Solomon Kane’s Homecoming (1)”; to read the complete poem, see The Collected Poetry of Robert E. Howard, p. 15; Always Comes Evening, p. 84 and Night Images, p. 68]

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