Description of Rufo the Dragon from “The Life of Saint Margaret” by Wace

One day Margaret was saying her prayers,
As was her custom,
When from a corner she saw a dragon emerge;
It was black and horrible in appearance,
And it spewed forth burning fire through its nose.
Around its neck it bore an iron chain, completely black,
It had a beard of gold and teeth of silver,
And its eyes were sparkling like a serpent’s.
It gave off a great stench all around it
And in its hand it carried a sharp sword.

From: Blacker, Jean, Burgess, Glyn S. and Ogden, Amy V. (eds. and translators), Wace: The Hagiographical Works. The Conception of Notre Dame and the Lives of St Margaret and St Nicholas, 2013, Brill: Leiden and Boston, p. 201.

Date: c1135 (original in Norman French); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Wace (c1110-after 1174)

Translated by: Jean Blacker (1952- ), Glyn Sheridan Burgess (1943- ) and Amy Victoria Ogden (1970- )


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