Within the night a shadow crawls
across the face of wooded hills
and launches as a ship would do
from shore to bay, then out to sea.
No moonlight casts this silhouette
for stars alone look down tonight
upon the empty black expanse
from which no constellation shines.
The shadow sinks into the deep,
doubly drowned in dark'ning gloom,
for clouds grow thick and shroud the sky
extinguishing the feeble light.
Wet mist tossed up from jagged waves
is blasted skyward 'til it meets
a horde of droplets hurtling down,
shrieking in the ragged night.
Wind screams with rising fury as
the squall becomes a hurricane
that rages on the open sea
and beats its fists on all in reach.
Yet through the hail, the bludgeoning,
a presence mingles with the clouds
and forges on through wet and storm
unshaken by such violent hate.
Dark wings of leather taut as tents
stretch wide against the thund'ring rain,
beating back against the wind
and conq'ring even this dark foe.
Into slit nostrils comes a scent
borne by a straying, wayward breeze
who, bearing fragile thoughts of home,
was press-ganged to this awful war.
It smells of smoothly tailored silk,
of honeysuckle crowns, of smiles.
A tongue of flame licks at the night
and gleams in hungry, shrewd black eyes.
The dragon flies for leagues unseen
unfailing in its long pursuit
for in those scents it tastes again
sweet promises of princesses. . .