The Dragon’s Visit

The dragon lay on the cherry trees
A-simmering and a-dreaming:
Green was he, and the blossom white,
And the yellow sun gleaming.
He came from the land of Finis-Terre,
From over the Blue Mountains,
Where dragons live, and the moon shines
On high white fountains.

‘Please, Mister Higgins, do you know
What’s a-laying in your garden?
There’s a dragon in your cherry trees!’
‘Eh, what? I beg your pardon?’
Mister Higgins fetched the garden hose,
And the dragon woke from dreaming;
He blinked, and cocked his long green ears
When he felt the water streaming.

‘How cool,’ he said, ‘delightfully cool
are Mister Higgins’ fountains!
I’ll sit and sing till the moon comes,
As they sing beyond the mountains;
And Higgins, and his neighbours, Box,
Miss Biggins, and old Tupper,
Will be enchanted by my voice:
They will enjoy their supper!’

Mister Higgins sent for the fire brigade
With a long red ladder,
And men with golden helmets on.
The dragon’s heart grew sadder:
‘It reminds me of the bad old days
when warriors unfeeling
Used to hunt dragons to their dens,
Their bright gold stealing.’

Captain George, he up the ladder came.
The dragon said: ‘Good people,
Why all this fuss? Please go away!
Or your church-steeple
I shall throw down, and blast your trees,
And kill and eat for supper
You, Cap’n George, and Higgins, Box,
And Biggins and old Tupper! ‘

‘Turn on the hose!’ said Captain George,
And down the ladder tumbled.
The dragon’s eyes from green went red,
And his belly rumbled.
He steamed, he smoked, he threshed his tail,
And down the blossom fluttered;
Like snow upon the lawn it lay,
And the dragon growled and muttered.

They poked with poles from underneath
(where he was rather tender):
The dragon gave a dreadful cry
And rose like thunder.
He smashed the town to smithereens,
And over the Bay of Bimble
Sailors could see the burning red
From Bumpus Head to Trimble.

Mister Higgins was tough; and as for Box
Just like his name he tasted.
The dragon munching his supper said:
‘So all my trouble’s wasted!’
And he buried Tupper and Captain George,
And the remains of old Miss Biggins,
On a cliff above the long white shore;
And he sang a dirge for Higgins:

A sad song, while the moon rose,
With the sea below sighing
On the grey rocks of Bimble Bay,
And the red blaze dying.
Far over the sea he saw the peaks
Round his own land ranging;
And he mused on the folk of Bimble Bay
And the old order changing:

‘They have not got the wit to admire
a dragon’s song or colour,
Nor heart to kill him brave and quick-
The world is getting duller!’
And the moon shone through his green wings
The night winds beating,
As he flew back over the dappled sea
To a green dragon’s meeting.

„Посещението на дракона”. В „Зимни приказки за деца”. [Под редакцията на] Каролин Уилиър. Илюстрации Хю Маршал. Лондон, изд. „Макмилиън” (октомври 1965), стр. 84.

Оригиналният вариант е публикуван в сп. „Оксфорд”, Оксфорд, том 55, № 14 (4 февруари 1937), стр. 342.