The Dragon with Many Heads (French Folk Tale)

Folk Tales, French Folk Tales3377


An envoy of the Porte Sublime,

As history says, once on a time,

Before th” imperial German court

Did rather boastfully report,

The troops commanded by his master”s firman,

As being a stronger army than the German:

To which replied a Dutch attendant,

“Our prince has more than one dependant

Who keeps an army at his own expense.”

The Turk, a man of sense,

Rejoin”d, “I am aware

What power your emperor”s servants share.

It brings to mind a tale both strange and true,

A thing which once, myself, I chanced to view.

I saw come darting through a hedge,

Which fortified a rocky ledge,

A hydra”s hundred heads; and in a trice

My blood was turning into ice.

But less the harm than terror,:

The body came no nearer;

Nor could, unless it had been sunder”d,

To parts at least a hundred.

While musing deeply on this sight,

Another dragon came to light,

Whose single head avails

To lead a hundred tails:

And, seized with juster fright,

I saw him pass the hedge,:

Head, body, tails,–a wedge

Of living and resistless powers.:

The other was your emperor”s force; this ours.”



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