Aphelion Issue 241, Volume 23
July 2019
 
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The Sleeping Dragon

by James Matthew Byers


Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(I)
When Tristan was a youth, one day
He shared a secret tale
Of one hidden beneath the hill,
Born of sinew and scale.

(II)
His sister did not quite believe
What her brother did say,
Hence Tristan took her on a trip
To put her doubts at bay.

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(III)
It wasn’t far from Riddle’s Bend,
The hill that wound in arc,
As through the woods they traveled on
Adventuring the dark.

(IV)
But Emma shrilly quizzed the boy,
“Are you sure he is real?
Is this a joke, this dragon you
Say sleeps beneath the hill?”

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(V)
“Have patience, little sister. Wait
And you will truly see
The very one I speak of now
Before both you and me.”

(VI)
At last the trees departed as
The two could see the prize.
But when their feet snapped twigs in half
There opened up two eyes.

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(VII)
In the darkness yellow orbs lit up
Creating quite a shock,
Then from the earth a head arose
Out from the stone and rock.

(VIII)
The boy did not believe his eyes
For they had never seen
The dragon move or shake the ground
Where grew the grassy green.

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(IX)
In silence there his sister spoke:
“Well, this is just too grand.
You said the dragon lay asleep,
But look, I think he’ll stand.”

(X)
The moonlight shone on scales of green
As wings shook off debris.
A huff and puff from nostril’s flare,
Then he said, “Pardon me.”

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(XI)
“At last you have awoken me,
My freedom full received.
It has been seven hundred years
Since anyone believed.”

(XII)
“Good sir, my brother brought me here
And I thought him a fool.
You see they teach us you’re not real
Each day we go to school.”

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(XIII)
“Not real?” the dragon quizzed aloud.
‘No wonder’ thought he then.
“I guess my kind have lost their place
Within the hearts of men.”

(XIV)
“Don’t worry, sleeping dragon ‘cause
I keep your myth alive.
And now my sister sees you, too,
So your kind will survive.”

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(XV)
The children stayed and talked a while
With their new dragon friend,
And as the stars began to fade,
They left for Riddles’ Bend.

(XVI)
Before the wood enveloped them
The dragon bade farewell.
He asked them to remember and
Tell others of his tale.

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(XVII)
“I will be waiting for you here
Next time you come to play.”
Then he returned to earth and stone
As broke the light of day.

(XVIII)
For many years the two did come
Bringing many a friend
To meet the dragon underneath
The hill past Riddle’s Bend.

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.

(XIX)
Now when the siblings grew up and
No longer came to see
The sleeping dragon waiting there
Beneath the rock and tree,

(XX)
He slept within the dream of hope
Awaiting in the deep
For someone to arrive and rouse
Him from his lonesome sleep.

Refrain:
Oh, through the woods and round the bend
The sleeping dragon lay
And had for years been dormant there,
Long waiting for this day.


© 2007 James Matthew Byers

James Matthew Byers is a published author(Grecian Rune, 2004) and a father of two. He has been married to his wife, Dorothea, for seven years. Currently, he teaches Special Education at St. Clair County High School in Odenville, AL. He resides with his family and two cats in Rainbow City, AL.

Find more by James Matthew Byers in the Author Index.

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