Old Calabria By Norman Douglas


There is an eye, then, in the fountain: an eye which looks or regards.
And inasmuch as an eye presupposes - Page 150
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There Is An Eye, Then, In The Fountain:

An eye which looks or regards. And inasmuch as an eye presupposes a head, and a head without body is hard to conceive, a material existence was presently imputed to that which looked upwards out of the liquid depths.

This, I think, is the primordial dragon, the archetype. He is of animistic descent and survives all over the earth; and it is precisely this universality of the dragon-idea which induces me to discard all theories of local origin and to seek for some common cause. Fountains are ubiquitous, and so are dragons. There are fountain dragons in Japan, in the superstitions of Keltic races, in the Mediterranean basin. The dragon of Wantley lived in a well; the Lambton Worm began life in fresh water, and only took to dry land later on. I have elsewhere spoken of the Manfredonia legend of Saint Lorenzo and the dragon, an indigenous fable connected, I suspect, with the fountain near the harbour of that town, and quite independent of the newly-imported legend of Saint Michael. Various springs in Greece and Italy are called Dragoneria; there is a cave-fountain Dragonara on Malta, and another of the same name near Cape Misenum - all are sources of apposite lore. The water-drac. . . .

So the dragon has grown into a subterranean monster, who peers up from his dark abode wherever he can - out of fountains or caverns whence fountains issue. It stands to reason that he is sleepless; all dragons are "sleepless "; their eyes are eternally open, for the luminous sparkle of living waters never waxes dim.

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