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POEMS BY W. M. PRAED.
“A dragon's tail is flayed to warm
“And he's cleckit this great muckle bird out of this wee egg! he could wile the very flounders out o the Frith !”
THERE was a dragon in Arthur's time,
Of monstrous reputation :
And deluged half the nation.
* This poem appeared originally with the following advertisement.
“The reader is requested to believe that the following statement is literally true; because the writer is well aware that the circumstances under which Lillian was composed are the only source of its merits, and the only apology for its faults. At a small party at Cambridge, some malicious belles endeavored to confound their sonnetteering friends, by setting unintelligible and inexplicable subjects for the exer
It was a pretty monster, too,
Like the glow of a deep carnation :
Like a Duke's at the coronation.
No insignificant charmer;
cise of their poetical talents. Among many others, the Thesis was given out which is the motto of Lillian:
“A dragon's tail is flayed to warm
A headless maiden's heart," and the following was an attempt to explain the riddle. The partiality. with which it had been honored in manuscript, and the frequent applications which have been made to the author for copies, must be his excuse for having a few impressions struck off for private circulation among his friends. It was written, however, with the sole view of amusing the ladies in whose circle the idea originated; and to them, with all due humility and devotion, it is inscribed.
“TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, October 26, 1822."
Arrow, and stone, and spear,
On a fool's unshrinking ear.
In many a battle the beast had been,
Many a blow he had felt and given : Sir Digore came with a menacing mien,
But he sent Sir Digore straight to Heaven; Stiff and stour were the arms he wore,
Huge the sword he was wont to clasp ; But the sword was little, the armor brittle,
Locked in the coil of the dragon's grasp.
He came on Sir Florice of Sesseny Land,
Pretty Sir Florice from over the sea,
Cracking his head like a nut from the tree.
Any thing good in the scented youth, Who had taken much pains to be rid of his brains,
Before they were sought by the dragon's tooth.
He came on the Sheriff of Hereford,
As he sat him down to his Sunday dinner; And the Sheriff he spoke but this brief word :
“St. Francis, be good to a corpulent sinner.!" Fat was he, as a Sheriff might be,
From the crown of his head to the tip of his toe; But the Sheriff was small, or nothing at all,
When put in the jaws of the dragon foe.
He came on the Abbot of Arnondale,
As he kneeled him down to his morning devotion; But the dragon he shuddered, and turned his tail
About, “ with a short uneasy motion.” Iron and steel, for an early meal,
He stomached with ease, or the Muse is a liar; But out of all question, he failed in digestion,
If ever he ventured to swallow a friar!
Monstrous brute !-his dread renown
Her father had been a stout yeoman,
But never over-wise ;
and deep, He met with a dragon fast asleep,
’T was a faery in disguise :
The realm of the sky invading;
And shivered the sails, and shivered the mast,
With all the crew and lading
As the last dim hope was fading;
And a love of masquerading.
When the faery rose all weeping. “Thou hast lopped,” she said, “ beshrew thine hand ! The fairest foot in faery land!
“ Thou hast an infant in thine home!
For weeping or for wail,
On a living dragon's scale,
A living dragon's tail.”
in a stream of light.
Disconsolate that youth departed,
Disconsolate and poor;
To his cottage on the moor;