By John Ciardi

Dragons are not only beasts
God forgot to make, and which, therefore,
man had, himself, to invent. The Phoenix,
the Griffon, the Sphinx, the Unicorn,
And such nightworks as the Vampire
and the Werewolf, are all
in the nature of the Imagined Kingdom.
And what good, in the long run, is Dominion
unless it is given over all
necessary beasts, real and imagined?

Therefore the Dragon, which-if it is true
that man must imagine at least one shape
moving alive for every dream in him-
images that dark in the jungle of dendrites
one man must run from and another attack,
to which every daughter must be thrown once,
and out of which any man may think to marry
a princess.
All these are realities, but
if you actually see a Dragon, check carefully
which reality you have been living in.
To do so
may be very much your advantage.

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