Reply To: Did you know……

  • Dr. Thomas Davison

    January 20, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    I think- trying to name a monster?


    by G. K. Chesterton

    Fear not, fear not, my children,

    The last weird embers fade,

    Blue corpses through the windows peer,

    But still you seem afraid,

    Perhaps there’s Something in the room,

    Whatever would you do

    If I were not among you now

    To cheer and comfort you?

    Heed not that pale thing in the door,

    It smiles so like a skull,

    You hear hoarse spectres scream and clank,

    You find the evening dull?

    Then let me tell a merry tale

    Of dear old days of yore,

    About a dragon of the wastes

    That drank of human gore.

    It dwelt among untrodden ways,

    And ate the plaintive dove;

    A dragon there were few to praise

    And very few to love.

    (I use this piece of Wordsworth

    To show how much I know)

    Uproariously popular

    It was, as dragons go.

    If I could only paint the Thing!

    Just imitate its wink,

    All you five infants, one by one,

    Would rise and take to drink:

    Or roll in death-pangs on the floor,

    And lie there choked and blue,

    O how I wish I could describe

    This animal to you.

    Some swore its fur was bushy brown,

    Some swore that it was green,

    With savage eyes of bluish grey:

    Some swore that they had seen

    In coils upon a sofa wreathed,

    It, writhing as in pangs,

    And tearing Bovril chocolate

    With huge, abhorrent fangs.

    Some said that far to eastward

    They saw It, garbed in grey,

    Standing upon a platform

    And bellowing all day.

    Some said that far to northward,

    Through all the white snow-wreath,

    They saw it, white and wolfish,

    With half-a-million teeth.

    When skies were blue with summer

    It glittered, bright and blue,

    And once, the stricken wanderer

    In screaming terror flew,

    For on the shining tableland

    White gauze did round it glance,

    And with one rose to crown it

    He saw the dragon dance.

    The Witless Youth in wonder

    Sat lank upon a stone,

    His Hat was monumental

    Its secret—all his own.

    The Sage was mild and hoary

    And skilled in Wisdom’s page,

    The Youth sat meek (as always)

    And to him spoke the Sage.

    “Go not to smite the Dragon

    That wasteth field and fen,

    Around her reeking cavern

    Are strewn the hearts of men;

    But youth is foolish: You, Sir,

    Are singularly so—

    So learn her horrid habits

    At least, before you go.

    “If you would raise her bristles up

    And set her eye in flames,

    Then seek the Hankin-Pankin

    And read the Jenry-James;

    Go with a train of spiders huge

    With all their threads and thrums

    From ledgers all declaiming

    Interminable sums . . .

    “But would you see the awful smile,

    And soften down the Eye,

    Then fetch the Stompy-Steinthal

    And bring the Rompy-Rye;

    And choirs of ladies tall and proud

    With all one kind of nose,

    And bucketsful of flowers,

    And basketsful of clothes.’

    (Unfinished, or if finished the last page has been lost.)