Here at Dreaming Dragonslayer, we like our dragonslaying stories. From Beowulf to Bard the Bowman and beyond, man has struggled against wyrm in courageous combat. This story of courage comes from my father many years ago. While digging through old records of family memories, I stumbled on this manuscript and the artwork above. I dictated the words, my brother took his skill to the painting and what we produced for you to experience is this: a tale of folly and strength, bravery and deprivation. Each of us can draw from these lessons and all of us struggle with monsters of the multitudes. But the struggle and will to continue is what counts, not the victory. N.D. Wilson writes,
“Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it. The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.”
Be courageous. Draw on stories for examples of resisting fear and doing what’s right in the face of mockery and true danger. These stories feed our souls.
Beldar was a man of the Dark Times of old
He had not a house nor a shekel of gold
The sky was his roof; the ground was his bed
He had naught of food but hunger instead
He was not very old, in the prime of his life
His hands were all calloused from toil and strife
Hard with his face as cold as a stone
His long Golden Hair by the wind had been blown
Because he was poor no friend had he
The people just laughed when him they did see
Never to them had he done any wrong
So how could their scorn and hate be so strong?
One day as he was walking near to the road
He lifted his eyes and who did he behold?
The princess Armana so beautiful and fair
Whose heart was filled with kindness and care.
Her eyes filled with pity, the little group stopped.
Beldar to his knees immediately dropped.
“Money give to this poor man,” she said.
“The man is so poor he cannot be fed.”
“Thank you, thank you!” cried the joyful Beldar,
“No one shown me this much kindness before.”
For once he was happy and without pain,
And he ran down the road to go buy some grain.
A week after that his grain was most gone.
The Kings trumpets blew at the break of dawn.
All were to come and hear the king speak.
Rumors of danger began to leak.
Beldar, toward the city, he started to go.
Quiet it was and the wind did not blow.
He said to himself, “Something is wrong!
Not a bird anywhere is singing a song!”
As he neared to the city burned was the grass
The trees were like mourners covered with ash.
Over the fields hung a dreary, dark smoke.
The life from the land, a fire did choke.
He entered the city and this he did see;
‘Twas not the spires reaching up happily.
For they each had been felled like a great forest pine.
Left were just stumps of what had been so fine.
The palace was a flame in bright golden color.
The ones beautiful house, had lost all its splendor.
Part of the wall was thrown like a stone.
It sat in the lake all cracked and alone.
Into square of the city, all the people came,
The rich, the poor, the sick, and the lame.
Out came the king; his eyes were downcast.
He stood for a while but started at last.
“All this ruin which now you do see”
“was caused by Dagor, I speak verily “
Fear filled the crowd, even brave men,
For Dagor the dragon had come back again.
The cursed name brought back old fireside tales,
A belly of iron and heavy thick scales.
His tale was a whip; his teeth were sharp swords.
His immortal strength had conquered great lords.
He bellowed forth fire from within his breath,
And all that was ‘round him was then put to death.
A spell came upon those who looked in his eyes.
He told them and made them believe awful lies.
“My daughter Armana he has taken away.”
Tears filled the king’s eyes when this he did say.
“The man who saves her will get wealth and gold.”
” Who love you now will be brave and so bold?”
All shook their heads and turned back away.
Beldar was the only one who did say.
He thought for a while but then he did cry,
“To rescue your daughter I shall go and try.”
The people looked around; only Beldar did they see.
“Beldar?” laughed they, “Certainly not he!”
All the people laughed till they could laugh no more.
Soon the city was in a complete uproar.
Beldar left in shame, his head low bowed.
“You fools,” said the king in a voice very loud,
“Only one man here would go and fight.”
“You are all cowards, even my knights!”
When Beldar got back to the place where he slept,
He sheathed his sword, the only thing that he kept.
The rest of his grain he put in a sack,
And he threw his old cloak onto his back.
So he left at the start of the new day,
But he was not sure if Dagor he could slay
After a long day’s walk, it had turned to night
He reached the dragon’s lair; it filled him with much right
The land all around was desolate and black
For miles and miles a tree it did lack
Like a gaping mouth the cave at its portal
Threatened the death of all that was Mortal
The princess Armada he would have to win
He stayed back for fear, but at last he went in
All became dark, the air hot and dank
He heard a loud roar, his spirits then sank
Far down the deep, dark passage Beldar wound
He felt that he was going around and around
Alas after long; he saw a light up ahead
To a great, bright cavern the dark tunnel lead
This he saw: large mounds of great wealth and gold
Silver armor, long swords, and many a mold
Colorful shields hung from a smooth wall
At the far end, a small waterfall
Then he saw Dagor who was fast asleep
A dark, heavy smoke from his nostrils did seep
The reek from his body hung in the air
The dragon woke up; he sensed a man in his lair
“Welcome brave fool,” he glared at Beldar.
He lifted his body, “this you will not mar.”
His chest was covered in diamond and stone.
“At my great armor swift arrows are thrown.”
Beldar looked for the princess; she could not be found.
“Ha, ha Dagor I shall cast you to the ground.”
“I am but a peasant, but that does not matter.”
He drew forth his sword, “Your bones I shall scatter.”
Dagor swung a claw, but Beldar dove away
He hid behind a golden pile and there he did stay
But Dagor blew forth fire to burn poor Beldar
Singed was his hair and his flesh it did mar
Dagger turned to leave for he thought Beldar dead.
But he heard of weak voice from the pile that said,
“You sought to destroy me, O mighty Dagor.”
“I have not died. Now you shall be no more!”
Beldar then stood up; his sword was raised High
He looked more fierce than the gods of the sky
He was no more a peasant, but now a great lord
He charged that the dragon in all dangers ignored
He ran under the dragon; his sword up he pushed
Black blood from the belly of the dragon then gushed
The dragon was dead, his corpse fell to the floor
By Beldar he was slain. Dagor would kill no more
Beldar fell to the ground and lay there on his side
His wounds were great, and from death he could not hide
He was in great pain and awaited his doom
The Princess Armana came in from a room
She knelt down beside him; her eyes filled with tears
“Farewell, O great knight, may your name ever in years,”
“Be remembered by all kings happily.”
“Farewell Princess Armana,” he said quietly.
He smiled faintly and then breathed his last
Armana lowered her head to his breast
And so it is in the books of old,
So scribed is the tale of Beldar the Bold