Empire's Destiny

Empire's Destiny  (1929) 
by Robert Ervin Howard
First published in The Poet's Scroll, June 1929.
Alternative title: "Oh Babylon, Lost Babylon"

Bab-ilu's women gazed upon our spears,
And roses flung, and sang to see us ride.
We built a glory for the marching years
And starred our throne with silver nails of pride.
Our horses' hoofs were shod with brazen fears:
We laved our hands in blood and iron tears,
And laughed to hear how shackled kings had died.

Our chariots awoke the sleeping world;
The thunder of our hoofs the mountains broke;
Before our spears were empires' banners furled
Amd death and doom and iron winds were hurled,
And slaughter rode before, and clouds and smoke--
Then in the desert lands the tribes awoke
And death and vengeance 'round our walls were whirled.

Oh Babylon, lost Babylon! Where now
The opal altar and the golden spire,
The tower and the legend and the lyre?
Oh, withered fruit upon a broken bough!
The sobbing desert winds still whisper how
The sapphire city of the gods' desire
Fell in the smoke and crumbled in the fire;
And lizards bask upon her columns now.

Now poets sing her golden glory gone;
And Babylon has faded with the dawn.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.

For Class A renewals records (books only) published between 1923 and 1963, check the Stanford University Copyright Renewal Database.
For other renewal records of publications between 1922–1950 see the University of Pennsylvania copyright records scans.
For all records since 1978, search the U.S. Copyright Office records.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

Works published in 1929 would have had to renew their copyright in either 1956 or 1957, i.e. at least 27 years after it was first published / registered but not later than in the 28th year. As it was not renewed, it entered the public domain on .