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Volume 5883


A Rare 10-Page Poem by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Copyright Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. :: Not for duplication

A POEM
by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Transcribed from ERB's original typed manuscript by Bill Hillman
Copyright ERB, Inc. ~ Not for distribution


Khan Illustrations by Frank Frazetta

Page 5: Stanzas 9 and 10Page 5
From Baikul east to Kingans slopes there sweeps
The northern Gobi where the Mongol keeps
His herds and flocks, and where the dead Khan sleeps
While from the hand of Timujin, the child,
The fierce Targoutai seeks to wrest the power,
While Keraits fierce and Naimans joined the wild
And savage Merkits to o'er run the flower
Of all his pasture land and drive him out
To graze his herds on arid desert lands;
To raid his ordu and his khanship flout;
'Til few remained of those once loyal bands. 
Yet, Khan of Yakka, fearlessly he kept
Upon the horse skin white, nor ever slept,
While Houlan prayed and Bourtai, waiting, wept.

And then Targoutai struck! The old wolf sought 
To slay the cub and all his Taidjuts brought;
But Timujin the sly would not be caught
And with his brothers fled, while on their heels
The Taidjuts rode so close that Kassar sped
His arrows at them while the young Khan wheels
And, unaccom'nied to the mountains fled.
The hunt is on! The hunters make no haste.
The trail is fresh. These nomads know their work.
Accustomed they to trail across the waste
A strayed or stolen horse for days, they lurk
In tireless patience on the boy's plain trail,
Bent on the day when all the tribes shall hail
Targoutai khan and Taidjut arms prevail.


Page 6: Stanzas 11 and 12

By Taidjuts penned within the mountains' fast
The young khan hid while hungry days dragged past
'Til Nature took the foeman's part at last
And drove him, creeping, through their close drawn lines;
A hunted beast that slinks with cat-like tread
Beneath the pale moon filt'ring through the pines.
He halts. He turns. To right, to left, ahead
Perceiving danger, knows he's lost the game
As from the shadows waiting warriors sprang
And at their heels the fierce Targoutai came
To plague him with the stigma of the kang --
A wooden yoke upon his shoulders pressed
That held the wrists of their unwilling guest --
The silent butt of ridicule and jest. 

Targoutai feasts and celebrates tonight;
For he has won the khanship by his might,
With none to question or deny his right.
And while he feasts, his victim, in his tent,
With piercing eye that cuts the murky gloom
Beholds escape from his predicament
And eyes the sleepy guard and plans his doom.
'Tis not for nothing flows within his veins
The blood of Kabul Khan or his own sire;
'Twas not for nothing Houlan's labor pains
Brought forth this creature of her hot desire
Whose hate burns white within that unbowed head
As, rising from the grass that is his bed,
Lifts high the kang and strikes the warrior dead. 


CONTENTS

ERBzine 5880
Intro & Contents
ERBzine 5881
I: Stanzas 1-4
ERBzine 5882
II: Stanzas 5-8
ERBzine 5883
III: Stanzas 9-12
ERBzine 5884
IV: Stanzas 13-16
ERBzine 5885 
V: Stanzas 17-20


BILL HILLMAN
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