"Saint George and the Dragon," by Paolo Uccello‘The Dragonslayer’ by Jeff Nicholson The Society March 15, 2019 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 13 Comments Ere gloaming wanes, acceding sable night, As writhen mists conceal a pallid moon, From bastion vigil, thou descry a sight; To rumours, foul and fey, thine ears attune. Beyond the eaves of darkness lurks thy foe, Where craven men are loath to tread—and lag, Thou, heedless, don thy panoply and go To mark the serpent’s lair among the crags. Ascending there, the beast, most wroth and fell, Demands thou quail and abdicate to dread. Instead, thou, wreathed in faith and trusting well, Unsheathe thy sword and cleave the wyvern’s head! For God—thy fealty’s charge—for love of men, Thou liv’st each day to risk thine all again. Jeff is a lifelong poet with a particular affinity for writing formal verse. He currently resides in rural Clark County, outside Battle Ground, Washington, USA, with his wife and a few lingering adult children. Though his educational background is in English and Theology, Jeff currently directs the Technical Services department for a global architectural glass coatings manufacturer in Ridgefield, Washington. Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 13 Responses E. V. March 15, 2019 You’re very talented. That was a powerful, spiritual poem … and I learned a few new vocabulary words. Gee, this site is great for all the young people who anticipate one day taking the SAT exams! Reply Jeff Nicholson March 15, 2019 Thank you for your kind comments, E.V. Regarding vocabulary words, I recall many hours of reading classical poetry, going back and forth between the text and glossary, until I could read the poems from start to finish with complete understanding. I loved the illumination of the work and the subsequent expansion of my own vocabulary (and still do). I can only hope more young people (and educators) will see the value in such exercises. Reply James A. Tweedie March 15, 2019 Hey, near-neighbor, Jeff! What a delightful poem. Although the sonnet form is Elizabethan, I picture the entire scenario written in Medieval illuminated script! The spelling of “unsheathe” is the cherry on the top of this faux-quest tale–albeit one that bears witness to a tangible and valuable moral lesson. Reply Jeff Nicholson March 16, 2019 Thank you very much near-neighbor, James! You have rightly discerned the theme and purpose here. This sonnet was written as I considered the challenging, and often lonely, work of a pastor friend of mine. Though one might more traditionally visualize a shepherd protecting the flock from wolves, I wanted to take this different approach. I hope the Medieval scenario works well in that regard. Reply LJ March 16, 2019 I am typically not one for poetry but I do find your writings enjoyable and illuminating Very glad to have found you Reply Jeff Nicholson March 16, 2019 Thank you, LJ. If your appreciation for poetry has grown even but a little, I am most happy to be found by you. I hope you will take an opportunity to explore the many great works on this site. You will discover some immensely talented poets and I am confident your enjoyment and illumination will increase considerably. Reply The Society March 16, 2019 By the way, this poem has been featured on the news aggregator website whatfinger: https://www.whatfinger.com/ (on the left, scroll down, or do control+F for poetry). Thank you to Whatfinger for publishing it! Reply Gregory Spicer March 16, 2019 I would like to second the honorable Mr. Tweedie’s near-neighbor greetings to you, Mr. Nicholson, and I am curious if you are influenced by the recent works of Ian Doescher? I believe him to be a Portlander, but his writings can be entertaining regardless. Reply Jeff Nicholson March 17, 2019 Greetings to you as well, Mr. Spicer. I am only slightly familiar with Ian Doescher’s work (having once read some excerpts from his Shakespearean Star Wars writings). Entertaining indeed! Reply David Watt March 17, 2019 I also enjoyed this sonnet immensely. The vocabulary befits the tale, and there is also a powerful, positive, message. Reply Jeff Nicholson March 17, 2019 Thank you, Mr. Watt. Reply Theresa Rodriguez March 17, 2019 Thank you for this beautiful and powerful sonnet Jeff! Reply Jeff Nicholson March 17, 2019 You are most welcome, Ms. Rodriguez. I appreciate your compliment. 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