On Erin’s sweet emerald terrain,
Many long ages ago.
A dragon who was hight Ollipeist,
Went a roving to and fro.
He searched the hills and meadows green,
He searched in County Claire.
For the trickster Brady O’Shae he sought,
But could find him nowhere.
For gold he craved, that ravenous beast,
To supplement his horde.
And the little gnome had a pot ‘twas said,
So that struck his greedy cord.
Thus Ollipeist hunted until ‘twas dark,
Then lighted he on the ground.
And while he rested O’Shae came to him,
With fairies all around.
“Why trouble ye so,“ the trickster laughed,
“For all with wits doth know.
That if ye would purloin my gold,
Just follow the rainbow.”
So on the morn the firedrake rose,
And took himself to wing.
Soon he found the rainbow’s path,
And then began to sing.
“Gold, gold, gold I need,
In my necessity.
Gold, gold, gold I want,
To carry across the sea.”
“Gold, gold, gold I crave,
My one and only desire.
And if you will not give it me,
I’ll burn you up with fire.”
As he sang, he flew t’wards its end,
But never did it draw nigh.
He flew until his wings near brake,
And would tumble from the sky.
The leprechaun then appeared again,
Floating lazily on a cloud.
“Fly faster,” he taunted, “ye horrid beast,
If ye would steal my gold as vowed.”
So Ollipeist beat the air harder still,
‘Til he thought that he would die.
Yet his goal it came no closer,
And he fell headlong from the sky.
His wreck was great, his ruin complete,
His body rent and broke.
As he lay destroyed on Innisfail’s green,
His tormentor returned and spoke.
“Now fell beast, though you would despoil me,
Yet I will make a deal.
And if you would but swear one thing,
Your body will I heal.”
He pulled a pot from beneath his cloak,
Just two inches tall.
“Return me now unto your horde,
This I will fill withal.”
The dragon laughed within himself,
Such a tiny bit of gold.
He swore that he would fly him there,
And do just what he was told.
So the little man put his magic forth,
And healed the wicked beast.
Then up he climbed on its scaly back,
And they flew off towards the east.
They flew for leagues o’er land and sea,
To his lofty mountain den.
Then landed there above the clouds,
And both repaired within.
Then in this cave of smoke and ash,
A mighty mound of gold.
In strode the smiling leprechaun,
Brazen, brash and bold.
He began to grab up handfuls of wealth,
And stuff them in his pot.
And though he worked most diligently,
Fill it he did not.
For as the pile of treasure shrank,
The pot began to grow.
Until all the dragon’s horde was gone
Thus did Brady plunder his foe
“Now trickster,” the dragon laughed,
Grinning like a clown.
“How will you take my gold from here?
For you cannot carry it down.”
“And though I swore to fly you here,
To fill your magic pot.
To fly you home again to Eire’s shore,
That surely I did not.”
“Thou evil wretch,” chided O’Shea,
That wise and chary gnome.
“Do you think I would be so foolish?
Not to have my own way home.”
Then quick as a wink ere the monster could move,
Brady twisted his left ear.
And he the gold and magic pot,
In a flash did disappear.
Thus did that gluttonous dragon fly,
Nevermore to Ireland.
For by its smallest resident,
Greatly was he unmanned.
Gone was his mighty dragon’s horde,
The work of many long years.
And Ollipeist was left in his dragon’s den.
In a flood of dragon’s tears.