Post-dragon-slaying stress disorder, with annotations.
Sir Thomas Motley
Note the name: this is an aggregate story.
His life-long She’d only be captured for three years; how could it be life-long? Did he arrange her capture? —Ed.2 ambition had come to fruition:
The dragon was slaughtered, he had the king’s daughter…
And yet it had not made him glad Achieving long-desired ends is always a letdown. —Ed.1 .
The girl was shaking with fright.
Three years in a cavern enslaved by a wyvern The off-rhyme clearly suggests this is not the reason for her fright. —Ed.2
Had broken her spirit, forever she’d fear it “it” = Sir Thomas, who slew her 3-year companion. —Ed.2 Three years with a dragon would break anyone’s spirit. —Ed.1 ,
She whimpered and cried through the night.
Sir Thomas was also in shock
Taking a life is always a shock.
The dragon has spoken, the princess awoken The dragon waking the princess was clearly not in Motley’s plan. He was planning to console her for the untimely loss of her companion, but she saw him do the killing instead. —Ed.2 ;
He’d swung his great claymore before it could say more,
But monsters were not ’sposed to talk Nor do they. The shock of killing caused him to hallucinate its animalistic cry as being words. —Ed.1 .
Thus shaken and sad they returned
And from life retreated. Their tale was repeated Repeated as in both retold and reenacted. A common tale. —Ed.1 ,
But bards tweaked the story to make it less gory
And filled it with smiles unearned.