Today I woke up excited as it is Saint George’s Day; Saint George is the patron Saint of England. Then I remembered nobody is quite sure why he is our saint, or what we are meant to do to celebrate. Fortunately it is also William Shakespeare’s birthday and we can all celebrate that. In honour of our great poet and playwright here is a
not very good ballad I wrote years ago, still relevant…
From the molten depths of the Iceland peak
Many gathered to hear their lord speak.
‘Centuries under the mountain we’ve lain,
centuries passed since my brother was slain.
Now is the time to return to the isles;
my son must fly across the miles.
Now is the time to forgive and forget;
the wingless, cold creatures may need us yet.’
Now with the day longer than night,
the prince bade farewell to all at first light.
With heavy heart he heard them roar,
as up into the sky he soared;
sun glinting on scales, colours unreal;
emerald, indigo, turquoise and teal.
Below, icy peaks turned to ripples of green;
Many miles he flew before land was seen.
Crowds cheered to hear the outsider had won;
George Saint now the new mayor of London.
The whole of London he wanted to reach,
Embrace the millions in his speech.
‘Tomorrow we celebrate the greatest city on Earth,
Tomorrow we remember Shakespeare’s birth;
On the South Bank on St. Georges Day
We’ll celebrate London in a wonderful way.‘
George worked late that night in City Hall,
Plans for tomorrow, he reviewed them all;
At the Globe, a prize winning play
Written by young Annie Hathaway,
How the dragon rescued the beautiful maid
From forced marriage, kept her safe in his cave.
At Tate Modern, in the great turbine hall
Meeting the Dragon installation art for all.
From City Hall’s glass walls George looked out
As he left the building, descending round about.
Saw the shining city, Thames at low tide,
Alone by the river his heart filled with pride.
Beneath Tower Bridge saw a fiery glow,
Strange shape moving down below
On the river bank, heard a sighing,
Amazed, George saw a dragon lying.
No one in sight, down the narrow steps he trod,
Heart pounding, saw the giant head nod
In greeting, snorted flames and then it spoke
‘I have come to visit the wingless folk,
Whom do I have the honour to address?‘
His father had told him politeness will impress.
On hearing George’s name the dragon trembled,
But no fierce knight did this puny being resemble.
Misunderstandings soon swept away,
George and Dragon talked, soon it would be day.
Many thoughts tumbled inside George’s head,
The magnificent dragon must be sheltered and fed.
As dawn came at Tate Modern, the young artist paced,
His new creation could not fill this vast space.
Suddenly a long shadow fell upon the hall,
He heard the Mayor’s voice urgently call.
Turning he gazed up and up with awe,
Was the most wondrous creature he ever saw;
Though he trembled with fright he just had to gaze
As rainbow scales shone in the Sun’s first rays.
Together they planned how to care for their guest,
Vegetarian food was what he liked best;
That’s lucky quipped the artist, for my art installation
Is made entirely of fruit and vegetation.
As people swarmed to the South Bank that day,
From the Wheel to Tower Bridge, all the way;
Musicians, magicians, jugglers, living statues,
At the Festival Hall free concerts to choose.
On T.V. the Mayor promised finale at Tate Modern,
Broadcast to the nation, Londoners surged in.
Crowds made the Dragon nervous but he bravely stood his ground,
The Mayor stood beside him and spoke to all around.
‘Today London welcomes a visitor unique,
no city ever will enjoy such a week;
but first pray silence from everyone I ask
for I must perform a very solemn task.
On behalf of all England, new bonds let us forge,
Pray forgive us for your uncle’s slaying by the wicked knight Saint George.’
The Dragon’s voice enchanted all, with his speech urbane and witty,
The Mayor of London thanked him with the freedom of the city.
Each morning Londoners thrilled at the sight
Of the Dragon soaring gracefully in flight.
But not just for fun, he was on a mission
Reporting to George on the City’s condition.
Spotted Battersea power station derelict and sad
Had an idea to make George glad.
No fossil fuel needed at a dragon power station,
At Battersea restored, his flames could heat the nation.
At City Hall George held his press morning,
TV and papers full of dire warnings.
The Mayor refuted the wicked claims
That the Dragon’s father had issued the flames
That started the Great Fire of London.
‘I trust completely this fine dragon,
he wants to help us of his own free will
and his carbon footprint will be nill.’
Elections for Mayor of London take place on 6th May; as one of the candidates is Lord Binface, a self-proclaimed interplanetary space warrior, who has challenged both Boris Johnson and Theresa May in general elections, George Saint probably stands a good chance.