Saturday, April 24, 2010

Oh: Do let us be correct at all costs

In my final year at school our poetry book had an (unstudied) poem, called "Y Ddraig Goch", that my teenage self wistfully loved.
Y Ddraig Goch is the red Welsh dragon - that St George slew? slayed? My ignorance is immense.
The poem fundamentally has the story that I came across later in "Puff the Magic Dragon": the dragon as the friend and familiar of children, who inevitably grow and leave him. (Maybe a parable for some relationships?)
"Ho, Ddraig Goch, my pretty, pretty friend!
We were his children, knowing all his ways."

But,children grow, so, finally:
"Ho, Ddraig Goch, they tell me you are dead;
They say they heard you weeping in the hills
For all your children gone to London Town."

When I googled and found the poem again, there was something abrupt and truncated about the ending. Thinking of it, I'm fairly sure that there were two more lines, one of which said something like, "I'll bring you little boys to love."

Is that enough to have the lines censored? Oh dear.

When I drove through Wales, I thought that I could see the little dragon perched on fences everywhere. With a curly tail - rather like the dragon in "My Friend Mr Leakey", about which I remember nothing else at all.

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