A dragon curled around a mountain and slept.
Nothing would wake it, not even a mouse.
Forever it would sleep. It will not defend its homeland now.
It will not break its napping for luncheon.
So long has it been there it embedded itself.
Trees grew around it and over it,
Affixing it firm to the spot.
It became part of the furniture.
Indeed, its slumber became death
And it merged into the wood of the roots
To be felled and carved into little
Wooden dragons to adorn Princely manors.
Now it roars in silence, chasing fleeting shadows
Across mantlepieces to avoid the drop
Into the snoozing ashes below,
A circlet of prehistoric action.
Now Dragon, where are your smoke rings?
Only emerging from the chimneys
Where you have been reduced and confused
Into the dust from whence you emerged.
Claude Monet, French impressionist painter, was born today in 1840.
Charles, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the throne of the United Kingdom, was born today in 1948.