Peter J. Atwood fiction

I like words, and more, words that are used well. This is where I collect them. Most I come across in the works of other authors, but on occasion I find some in the wild myself.


“At once from either side, with trumpet-blast, And shouts and clarions shrilling unto blood, The long-lanced battle let their horses run.”

—Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Coming of Arthur

This sentence from Tennyson's wonderful poem makes no sense. What does "shrilling unto blood" mean? How can a battle be "long-lanced"? The battle is singular, but he says it let "their" horses run. And don't the horses belong to the knights, not to the battle? But where the logic and grammar fail, the sense and feel are captured and wonderfully conveyed.