Its a color, I suppose. A subtle shade of red, somewhere striking off toward orange, but fierce and terrible and bright.
It isn't one of your everyday colors. Vermilion is an angel among colors. There is a light, and a purpose, to vermilion.

I don't believe there is a crayon for vermilion, at least there shouldn't be. After all, it is just wax, isnt it?

And blood is not vermilion. Blood is red. The sudden blood of a violently murdered child might be vermilion upon the ground, but only in early morning starlight.

Silk is rarely vermilion. Most red silk is simply red. The silk of a legendary geisha's kimono, hand embroidered with a thousand tiny gold chrysanthemums has been correctly described as vermilion, I believe.

Fire comes in many shades of red, but rarely do you see vermilion fire. An osprey or a kestrel might see on the distant horizon see a brilliant spark as an ancient city burns to embers through the night. But how would we know if it were vermilion, for sure, or even what such a bird might see on such a night?

Vermilion is the color of my dreams. < Editor's note. Originally posted by Sky on 2000-06-06. It reached rep 5. Accidentally deleted by reparenting bug. This is an experiment in restoring it to the original owner, who has not been on E2 for a year. >
It was a deep slow river
In that sleepy Bayou town
Winding its way toward the gulf
Taking its time, due to the heat I expect
Still is

I rarely saw its true shade
Dark burgundy only at sunset
When the last light of the day shone off the water

Long ago
In those warm evenings
She would bathe in cool peppermint water
Then dress in loose cotton
Letting the ceiling fan dry her hair

It was also the shade of her lipstick
Left with the cap off on a bedside table
Which was her nature
Still is

Ver*mil"ion (?), n. [F. vermillon. See Vermeil.]

1. Chem.

A bright red pigment consisting of mercuric sulphide, obtained either from the mineral cinnabar or artificially. It has a fine red color, and is much used in coloring sealing wax, in printing, etc.

The kermes insect has long been used for dyeing red or scarlet. It was formerly known as the worm dye, vermiculus, or vermiculum, and the cloth was called vermiculatia. Hence came the French vermeil for any red dye, and hence the modern name vermilion, although the substance it denotes is very different from the kermes, being a compound of mercury and sulphur.

R. Hunt.


Hence, a red color like the pigment; a lively and brilliant red; as, cheeks of vermilion.


© Webster 1913.

Ver*mil"ion, v. t.

To color with vermilion, or as if with vermilion; to dye red; to cover with a delicate red.


© Webster 1913.

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