Saturday, 26 April 2014

By George, What Do We Mean?

Here's something in response to St George's Day (23 April for those who don't know!). 

It occurred to me that, whilst we are familiar with the imagery (of a knight with a lance, a red cross and a dragon), what is the reality? If there is a reality at all? Is anything real? I think I'd better lie down.

By George, What Do We Mean?

One tale of Georgious, noble born,
Of Diocletian’s favoured few:
Beliefs he held could not be torn
From him despite what they would do.
To Roman gods he would not bow,
Refusing bribes to change his stance;
Through torture he would not kowtow,
His soul he would not leave to chance.

In preparation, days before,
He’d left the poor all that he’d owned,
He would not need it any more:
Intransigence was not condoned.
At last, on April twenty-third
By Nicomedia’s city wall,
A swinging of an axe occurred
Thus causing George’s head to fall.

Though dead, his influence lived on
And Christians some would become.
The Empress Prisca – she was one;
Perhaps this led to martyrdom .

 A death in three-oh-three AD?
It doesn’t fit. I’m at a loss:
As there’s no dragon I can see;
I cannot find St George’s cross.

A legend, in another age,
With children taken to a lake,
To give their lives to curb the rage
And hunger of a fearful drake.
The daughter of the king was due
To satisfy the dragon’s ire,
But George, by chance, was present too,
The time the beast reared from the mire.

From horseback George thrust out his lance
Blessed by the symbol of the Cross.
The dragon’s wound let him advance
And take advantage of its loss.
Into the town he led the drake
And promised he would use his sword
To slay the beast if they would take
Leave of false gods and praise the Lord.

A dragon slain by sword or spear
Might have the right mediaeval spin;
Excite the folk of yesteryear
With magic tales to drag them in.

In this sophisticated age
We only trust the facts we get
Referring to a Wiki page.
Reliable – this Internet?