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"The Road of Kings" is a Hyborian ballad, parts of which are quoted as epigraphs in the Conan stories. The subject matter deals with Conan's rulership of Aquilonia. Its authorship is uncertain, but it serves as a positive counter-narrative against the slanderous "Lament for the King" composed by the royal minstrel Rinaldo.[1][2]


"When I was a fighting man, the kettle drums they beat
The people scattered gold dust before my horse’s feet
But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
With poison in my wine cup, and daggers at my back" [1]

"What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft, and the lie
I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing
Rush in and die, dogs – I was a man before I was a king" [1]

"Gleaming shell of an outworn lie, fable of Right divine
You gained your crowns by heritage, but Blood was the price of mine
The throne that I won by blood and sweat, by Crom, I will not sell
For promise of valleys filled with gold, or threat of the Halls of Hell" [2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The Phoenix on the Sword"), Del Rey (2003).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The Scarlet Citadel"), Del Rey (2003).