Tolkien Gateway

The Dragon's Visit

The Dragon's Visit is a humorous poem about a dragon, written by J.R.R. Tolkien (probably in 1928) in his series Tales and Songs of Bimble Bay.

When submitting a number of poems for The Adventures of Tom Bombadil in 1962, "The Dragon's Visit" was included but was eventually omitted from the collection.[1] Douglas A. Anderson has suggested that Tolkien perhaps thought the poem unsuitable within the legendarium:[2] It mentions a fire brigade set against a dragon.[3]

John D. Rateliff has noted that he considers the "The Dragon's Visit" to be "one of Tolkien's best poems".[4]

[edit] Publication history

The poem was first published on February 4th, 1937 within The Oxford Magazine (Volume 55, Number 11).

A revised version of the poem, with a different ending, was printed in Winter's Tales for Children 1 (October 1965) and in The Young Magicians (1969).

The original poem (together with the revised ending) was included in The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition in 2002 and in Tales Before Narnia in 2008.[5]


  1. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, p. 214
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien; Douglas A. Anderson, (ed.), (2002) The Annotated Hobbit: Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 309-11
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond (eds), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, "Introduction"
  4. John D. Rateliff, Review of Tales Before Narnia, Mythlore 107/108
  5. John D. Rateliff, "The New Arrival: WINTER'S TALES FOR CHILDREN" dated 13 July 2009, Sacnoth's Scriptorium blog (accessed 27 February 2012)