The dragons are restless today;
they stir up hurricane and whirlwind,
puff forests to ash,
melt stone to rivers.
It must be mating day;
they sing with low trumpet-calls,
gather together and quarrel,
do aerial combat
and more interesting things.
Once a century they come together
a fruitful congregation.
But they'll soon be extinct,
with all these steel-clad knights
who rescue stupid damsels
who cannot keep out of dragons' dens.
Then no one will know what it's like
to live in a world with dragons,
for a dragon is a sublimity;
imagination fails before it.
Rust and Fire
One in kind are rust and fire.
Ruin is combustion slow;
flaming quickly is desire,
although it has a sharper glow
and spreads a prettier light.
Wood will rust with aching speed,
giving but an hour's delight.
Death issues from consuming need,
corrupting with a ruining fate;
making ash and stealing hearts,
it does not stop, does not wait,
corroding every cell and part.
And decadence with more control
corrosion too will spread abroad;
iron burns in part and whole
from air and malice of the gods.
Decay, then, is but slow desire:
one in kind are rust and fire.