The Dragon

My rendition of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Once beneath the moonlight bleary, whilst I scouted, quick and wary,

Over many a round and sweeping hill along the valley floor—

Whilst I prodded, bushes grasping, suddenly there came a snapping,

As of something gently shifting, shifting as it sought for more.

“’Tis the monster,” I whispered, “shifting on the forest floor—

Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, I distinctly recall it was the bleak of winter;

and each separate dragon ember followed along the forest floor.

Earnestly, I wished for moorlands; – Vainly I thought to hide below

From my place among the bushes- bushes in which I hid-

from the teeth bared and sharp which sought to devour-

The nameless beast was here for evermore.

And the scaly, mad, ravenous rustling of each clawed step

terrified me- filling me with terrors dark and new;

so that now, to quiet my fearful heart, I slowed my breathing

“Tis the dragon hunting me through the forest-

tracking my scent all through these woods;-

the scaly beast and nothing more.”

Presently my heart found strength, hesitation had no control,

“Dear dragon,” said I, “truly your forgiveness I implore;

but the fact is I was hunting, and so slowly you came creeping,

and your claws, they were just scratching, scratching on the forest floor,

so my heart was pounding in my chest.” – here I braced myself to run- shadows veiling me and nothing more.

Deep into those shadows leering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

shaking, fearing fears every elf had feared before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the dragon gave no token, and the only word there spoken was, “Eleanor?”

Then I whispered, and it echoed between the trees-,”Eleanor!” —

This alone and nothing more.

Back into the bushes turning, all my thoughts in my mind churning,

soon again I heard a cracking somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is the dragon in the underbrush;

Let me see, then, how close it is, and this mystery explore–

Let my heart be still whilst I do explore; —

tis the wind and nothing more!”

But as I stepped back upon the path, with a great flapping of its webb’ed wings,

There stepped before me a noble dragon from the legend’ry tales of yore;

Not the least inferno breathed he; not any smoke or ember;

But, with mien of ancient power, rose and towered over me-

Towered, and stared, and nothing more.

Then this onyx dragon enchanting my thoughts into awing,

By the ancient and noble visage that it bore,

“Though thy scales by black and fearsome, thou,” I said, “art sure no monster,

Regal and graceful dragon wand’ring the forest floor-

Tell me what thy noble name is oh dragon of beloved lore!”

Quoth the dragon “Starlight Roar.”

Thus I marvelled this imperial creature to hear words so commanding,

The its answer little meaning- little explanation gave;

For I could not help but quiver ‘neath this being

Ever so blessed with beholding this dragon of beauty and lore-

Dragon with such power that he ruled the forest floor,

With a name such as “Starlight Roar.”

But the dragon, sitting nobly among the willows green, spoke only

That one phrase, as though his legends in those words he did expound.

Nothing further did her utter-nor did his wings he unfold-

Till I bravely dared to mutter “Other beasts have flown before-

By tomorrow he will have spared me, as I’ve been spared before.”

Then the dragon said “Starlight Roar.”

Startled by the silence so loudly broken,

“Wond’rous,” said I, “you are, and renowned you must be

Praised by all who inhabit this verdant forest floor

Feared by those you might rend asunder and devour-

Till the dirges and requiems do sweet mercy implore

from ‘Starlight – Starlight Roar’.”

But the dragon still enchanting me till breathless,

In fealty I knelt before that onyx dragon, its scales a-shining,

Then, into the grassy field sinking, I found myself thinking

Noble after noble, this dragon had outlived since days of yore-

What grim and ghastly thoughts did fill me, knowing the only one

Surviving was the dragon “Starlight Roar.”

This I knelt there pondering, but no words uttering

The the dragon whose nebulous eyes now stared into my core;

This and more I knelt and pondered, my eyes locked into the dragon’s gaze

On the velvet blanket of grass that caressed the forest floor,

But whose verdant embrace unnerved me,

Lest she leave me buried, ah, forevermore!

Then, methought, the valley grew colder, the air rich and heavy with

The perfume of soil and seedlings turned by Gaia’s hand.

“Dragon,” I cried, “the gods hath seen thee- the angels have granted thee

the knowledge- knowledge of the weeping willows from thy memories of Eleanor;

Share, noble dragon, share the resting place of sweet Eleanor!”

Quoth the dragon “Nevermore.”

“Starlight Roar!” said I, “oh cruel dragon!- noble still, and regal, but so cruel!-

Whether goddess sent, or perhaps from Abyss escaped,

This forested valley you roam undaunted, these grounds enchanted-

Among willows this valley haunted- I implore thee, please tell-

Is there- is there a champion guarding our world?- tell me- tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the dragon “Nevermore.”

“Starlight Roar!” I called, “oh cruel dragon!- noble still, and regal, but so cruel!

By the moonlit heavens above us- by the goddess I do adore-

Enlighten my weary soul, whether in this valley dwells,

A beloved and gentle maiden whom the angels named Eleanor-

The kind and virtuous maiden whom the angels named Eleanor.”

Quoth the dragon “Nevermore.”

“And by that word I depart from thee, dragon of lore!” I cried, uprising-

“I retreated from thy valley and the willow forest that is yours!

Call not my name, and cast your shadow over me no more!

Ah, my loneliness unbroken!- I must retreat from this forest floor!

Turn thy eyes away from mine, and me go forevermore!”

Quoth the dragon “Nevermore.”

And the dragon, never flinching, still is sitting, still regally sitting

On the grass of that valley floor among the willows forlorn;

And its eyes are like nebulae that have seen worlds live and die,

And the moonlight o’er it still bathes it with blessings forevermore;

For the dragon is the greatest beast whose name must be praised and

Remembered- noble Starlight Roar!

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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