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Volume 5882

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

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 3: Stanzas 5 and 6
At night, beside the fire of glowing dung,
Young Timujin lent ear while minstrels sung,
To music from their one string fiddles wrung,
The glories of the heroes of his tribe;
Or listened to the story Houlan told --
The scene she never wearied to describe --
Of how his sire, the boldest of the bold,
Had stolen upon her wedding ride
And left the groom and all her tribe dismayed
While to his yurt he bore her at his side
And kept her for her beauty, unafraid;
Or 'neath the stars he mused his destiny -- 
When fell the day Yesukai died and he 
The khan of forty thousand tents would be.

The savage Grey-eyed Men from whom he sprung -- 
The fighting Bourchikoun by minstrels sung --
On ev'ry daring dead of theirs he hung;
And loved to hear of Kabul Khan, the feared, 
Who died because he dared, one long-gone day, 
In anger and in scorn, to pull the beard
Of some forgotten emp'ror of Cathay.
He learned that Toghrul, Kara'it Khan, was bound
By oath in friendship to his sire and knew
That when he came to rule this might redound
In benefit to him, for friends are few
Where life is hard and pasture scant and jinn
About to turn the hearts of one's own kin --
And thus the childish thoughts of Timujin.

Page 4: Stanzas 7 and 8Page 4

The storm-swept Gobi, dam of all mankind,
To ev'ry soft allure of youth is blind, 
And childhood there is swiftly cast behind.
Scarce thirteen years the chilling winds had blown
Since Houlan gave his first born to her lord, 
Yet even now his childhood days had flown, 
No longer was he Houlan's cherished ward,
But by Yesukai's side he proudly rode,
The master of his arrows and his spear,
A tall and clear eyed youth, whose mein forebode
The future ruler who should know no fear.
Thus with Yesukai, riding on foray,
He halted at a friendly yurt one day 
Where fair young Bourtai flashed her eyes of gray.

While Timujin was held by love's sweet sway
Yesukai, smiling grimly, rode away, 
The bargain made against the wedding day.
But all too brief this happy interlude -- 
Already Fate had cast him on the stream.
A Mongol warrior brought the summons rude,
On lathered mount, that woke him from his dream
And, still half child half man, proclaimed him king.
"Yesukai, poisoned, dying sends for  you!
"That," cried the warrior, "is the word I bring."
Tight lipped, the man-child mounted then and flew
Across the desert to his father's side,
Nor spared himself nor horse upon that ride,
Yet ere he came the Yakka Khan had died.


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
REF: "Super Father" Genghis Khan

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