Page name: The Dragon of Henwyreld [Exported view] [RSS]
2011-06-13 19:39:47
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This poem was inspired by these images on Elfwood by Anne-Marie Lemieux:

In Glyddn’s Vale on Farthenclose
Laid a field bejeweled with sacred rose.
Ever and ever the roses bloomed
Full and fragrant ‘neath sun and moon;
They knew no death, no season harsh,
Sturdy roots feathered in soil unparched.
‘Tis said they grew where a knight was felled,
Some called them the Rose of Henwyreld.
Legend tells of a maiden so lovely,
A look from her eyes turned hearts that were ugly
And made them see all things beautiful and pure,
So that the wicked gave up their evil lure.
Fair Henwyreld, the queenly name she was called,
Most loved by all, both youthful and auld.
A knight Henwyreld loved, princely and brave,
His matron had named him Wintergrave.
It was his fortune, this knight, to be
Forever wresting the dragon’s heat.
Wintergrave set out on a morning pale
To challenge the Dragon of Glyddn’s Vale
And quench the fire that the wyrm did breathe
To capture its gold guarded in greed.
He bade his Henwyreld behind to stay
And pray that he would the dragon slay.
But she stole from the house and followed him close,
Trees hid her from the eyes of he and his horse.
Wintergrave came to the empty plain.
Whilst Henwyreld watched from the woodland chain,
To his lips Wintergrave put the horn of contest
And discharged a note resounding through the forest.
Her breathless moment seemed a year
As she waited for the dragon to appear.
From above the rift of the bluff there came
A shadow o’er Apollo’s blazing plane.
A thrust of his wings to the atmosphere applied
And the mighty wyrm through the sky did glide.
Silk webbed ‘twixt fingers many yards in length,
Gave lift to the beast with unimagined strength,
His lissome body armoured in scale,
His voice uttered a piercing wail.
Lithe and lilting flight he rose and fell,
This wyrm, born in the furnace of hell.
Heel to flank put Wintergrave to his mount,
Off sped the horse like hare before hound.
From the depths of its belly the wyrm belched forth,
Furious combustion caused the grassland to scorch.
Valiant Wintergrave to the meet did hie,
The dragon’s vehement inferno he defied.
A time and times he battled the snake,
His bloodthirsty sword would not be slaked.
Fair Henwyreld’s fearful cry was raised
As she beheld Wintergrave amid the blaze.
Her knight among the fires enslaved,
Frantically sought a road of grass paved
To break through the fence of burning,
The bit and reigns the horse’s head turning.
To the roaring meadow the dragon alit
With flailing tail the charger he hit
Unhorsing Wintergrave in a fell sinking sweep
The knight upon the fiery earth did sleep.
A flash of claws to the side of the steed
Collapsed the horse into the blazing weed.
High reared the wyrm, his fangs to the sky,
He triumphed deafening where horse and knight lie.
As the dragon sounded the man’s defeat
Snow fell and melted in the heat.
Wintergrave! Was it fate that your mother called you so?
For what is Wintergrave but a grave in winter’s snow?
From the forest, calm and bitter biting as ice
Stepped Henwyreld, eyeing the dragon’s vice.
Without sound she captured the foul thing with her eyes
And the wyrm could not escape them, to his demise.
Round the blaze, tears falling as she walked
Still her eyes upon the dragon she stalked.
With each footfall upon the turf
Many tears fell to water the earth.
And now the dragon full detained
By a ring of tears that fell like rain
Henwyreld held him helpless bound
For a dragon cannot quit the ground
Where the tears of the pure have fallen:
A curse upon him Henwyreld was calling.
But a look from her eyes can purge the soul
Of man or beast of everything foul.
The dragon knew she was his bane;
Swiftly his heart shattered with pain
Of the guilt he now bore for the slain -
How the death of man can bring such shame!
And there he rooted, the wyrm’s claws in dirt
Whilst Henwyreld rent the hem of her shirt
In mourning for the loss of her love,
Her sobbing like the gentle-calling dove.
The dragon’s flames Wintergrave’s body devoured,
Henwyreld helplessly watched for hours,
The beast’s sorrowful eyes upon her stared,
His once hideous heart now despaired,
For flight he could no longer take,
No buoyancy his wings could make.
Earthbound dragon, feel the mud,
Your brother serpents slither in sludge,
The cousin worm in dirt tunnels pass -
So now you know what they feel at last?
Within this ring of tears you will crawl -
For what is wyrm but worm after all?
Away turned Henwyreld, slow to her home
Leaving the dragon with his thoughts a-roam.
Long passed winter, its sky stone gray,
Fathomless cold about him as he lay.
And never again did anyone see
Fair Henwyreld walk amongst the trees.
‘Twas said that she died of a heart full broken,
Her name there forward in awed whisper spoken
When found they an immense dragon heaving
Gloomy sighs within a circle breeding
Fragrant blooms of beauty never seen -
An untamed beast now tamed and serene,
Captive bound in a mysterious halo of rose,
Mankind’s heart broke at the sound of his throes.
Seasons passed through year upon year,
The wyrm’s clouded heart began to clear.
For now his guilt had somewhat abated,
Wintergrave’s soul the wyrm’s penance sated.
To tend the roses became his only charge.
Under his nurture they grew and enlarged.
His temperate breath in winter the blossom’s warmed,
In summer his wings sheltered from sunshine’s harm.
So agreeable was the dragon’s temperament,
That children played there without fear of it.
And when summer’s light became too intense
His wings he spread in great shading tents
To keep away the harm of the searing beam
So in shadows cool they could caper and dream.
Far and away the gentle dragon’s fame became known
Till hearsay reached invidious Queen Eamerdrome.
Flora of exotic nature and species she kept,
Her knowledge of everything green was adept.
She heard a baffling tale of wyrm and bloom,
A tale of an ill-fated knight’s flowering tomb.
Evidence lay near the dragon’s feet and tail:
Blackened human scaffold within scorched mail.
And the villagers a strange name in whisper spoke
Claimed one called Henwyreld the beast’s wildness broke
And enwreathed the wyrm in a great halo of tears
And there he has been for numbers of years.
Then upon the very trail wrought by the maiden
There grew hardy bushes of noble rose laden.
And should anyone reach to take so much as a petal
The dragon kindly pushed them away with claws of metal.
Envious Eamerdrome became green as sulking pine,
And pining she sulked for the rose seemingly divine.
Up from her garden started the covetous queen
To find the vale where the great wyrm is seen.
Many months she sought the dragon’s treasure
For her alone the rose would bring pleasure.
Behind her trumped many an armored man
Through which her evil will was carefully planned.
To Glyddn’s Vale at last they arrived
The rose-ring Queen Eamerdrome eyed.
A harsh voice of command rang over the field,
There beheld the dragon the weapons they wield
Of a thousand or more men cascading down
Into his peaceful valley, they trampled the ground.
Arrow chased arrow in endless flight
Helpless the wyrm turned left to right
Seeking a place to evade the wounding
Of the arrows from the men surrounding.
From the dragon’s throat came piercing wail
When arrows struck piercing through his mail.
Ceaselessly came the ruthless offense,
The dragon unable to flee in defense
And from all about the ring of flower
Hateful Eamerdrome asserted her power.
And as the arrows continued to strike
Eamerdrome entered to fulfill her plight.
A single rose she cut from the bushes full
Amid the action came a peculiar lull,
The rose in her hand blacked and deceased
Suddenly the wyrm’s feet from the earth released.
Out spread the mighty wings in desperate flurry
And from the ground rose the dragon in hurry
Dreadful wounds all over in a burning drone,
The curse to stay aground over and done.
The hum of taut bows continued to flow
As the dragon lifting grasped a solitary rose.
At the point of the first flower’s bruising
Eamerdrome realized her goal she was losing.
For as the wyrm left the soil
The roses blackened and spoiled.
High above the vale he soared
Mourning the loss of the roses adored.
And suddenly his wings no longer lifted
The silk falling away like chaff that is sifted.
He struggled to a point overlooking the vale
And softly landed with the aid of his tail.
Sadly he looked to the people below
And wondered why he received such blows.
For how much hurt can someone pay
To those whose wings can tatter and fray?
‘Tis better to let the innocent be
Than to shatter their childlike purity.
For bitter jealousy cannot buy
Another day to busy your eye.
For if their light becomes extinguished,
To what will you make your hate distinguished?
Yet Eamerdrome found out too late
The curse that held the roses’ fate.
Should the wyrm by force quit the ring of flower
Then he himself would succumb to death’s power,
The link of wyrm to rose caused the plant to live
The bounds of rose to wyrm his life did give.
For as leaves and petals fall to nourish the soil
The worm consumes the dirt in his tunneling toil
And gives back to the earth what has vanished
So the rose consumes what the worm has banished.
And one life upon the other depends
So that the endless circle never ends.
But the wyrm and rose upon each other lived
And silken petals fell while silken wings ripped.
The roses dying breath exhaled
While away to his death the dragon sailed.
Against the sky's gloaming gray
To death the dragon slowly gave way.
Fast between his gentle claws he held
The very last rose of Henwyreld.

Written by [Dark Side of the Moon]
Copyright 2007, Melanie L. Wood

Go to: ECM Dragon or ECM Dragon Poetry

Graphics on this page (except for the title banner) are courtesy of Elftown Graphics *Artsie_ladie*. She outfits my house and wiki pages!

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2007-10-06 [Artsieladie]: AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! *tissues needed* Gosh! Beautifully written. I don't know which character makes me the saddest, but definitely not Eamerdrome. Nice graphics! *winks & grins* <img:stuff/ThumbsUp_Wh_Mood_rev.gif><img:stuff/ThumbsUp_Wh_Mood.gif><img:stuff/sm-gif.gif>

2007-10-06 [Dark Side of the Moon]: <img:44166_1164903263.gif> *blush* Thank so much dear! *gives tissues*
I wonder who made those nice graphics?<img:stuff/m-jpg.gif>

2007-10-06 [Artsieladie]: You're most welcome! :D I've been wanting to get here & read this. Sorry, it took me so long. I'm so glad that I've gotten to read your poem/story. Sad, but delightful to read. :D  *scratches chin* I wonder, too. *giggles*

2007-11-07 [rien151]: WOW... I love it. That was amazing. *applauds* that is one of the best that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It is truely amazing.....

2007-11-08 [Dark Side of the Moon]: Thank you very much!!! I'm so happy someone else had the chance to read it!

2007-11-08 [Artsieladie]: Hopefully more will come here & read it. It would certainly be time well spent. :D

2007-11-08 [Dark Side of the Moon]: <img:stuff/mood-gif.gif> heeee...!

2007-11-09 [Artsieladie]: Well, it's true! <img:stuff/cheshmak.gif><img:stuff/mood10_gif.gif>

2008-03-11 [Callista Aurelia Jensaarai]: Well, now I have had the delightful pleasure of reading this scrumptious masterpiece. Absolutly amazing! I suck at doing poems, but I could turn this into a story with your permission. Can I? I am already being bombarded with ideas. And when that happens.......well, I just can't refrain from writing! Please let me!

2008-03-11 [Artsieladie]: *applause* Congratulations, [Dark Side of the Moon]! I said it is an AWESOME piece! <img:stuff/cheshmak.gif><img:stuff/dand-gif.gif>

2008-03-12 [Grandamelf]: In the vernacular of my children, this is "totally awesome!"
A beautiful piece, you are a master of words!

2008-03-13 [Dark Side of the Moon]: Thanks everyone! [Callista Aurelia Jensaarai], I'm flattered that you'd like to make this into a story, but I would really like for it to just stay as an epic poem. Please feel free to write a story of your own if it is inspired by my poem, but please don't use the actions and events nor the characters of my writing in your story. Just as with the links to the images that I provided at the top of the page, my poem was merely inspired by the pieces of artwork and does not actually have anything to do with them. I hope that you will respect my wishes. Thank you for asking first! <img:44166_1164145221.gif>

2008-03-15 [Sheracle]: I'm just wondering why that dragon at the top weren't in the contest for most regular dragon??? It would SO have gotten my vote!!!

2008-03-15 [Artsieladie]: Thank you, [Sheracle]! :) Actually, I kinda' forgot about my dragons that I made & donated to/for Elftown Graphics. But...I guess if I had, there might have been controversy around it, anyway, b/c it has only '2' legs. However, we are hoping to hold another Dragon contest to accept a wider variety of dragons. :)

2008-03-18 [Dark Side of the Moon]: huh. I never noticed those dragons only had two legs. <img:stuff/zabuN-gif.gif>

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