Page images

Adorn the conquest of a meaner foe.

Some daring mouse may meet the wondrous odds,
Though gods oppose, and brave the wounded gods.
O'er gilded clouds reclin'd, the danger view,
And be the wars of mortals scenes for you.

So mov'd the blue-ey'd queen; her words persuade, Great Jove assented, and the rest obey'd.



Now front to front the marching armies shine,
Halt ere they meet, and form the lengthening line:
The chiefs conspicuous seen and heard afar,
Give the loud signal to the rushing war;

Their dreadful trumpets deep-mouth'd hornets sound,

The sounded charge remurmurs o'er the ground;
E'en Jove proclaims a field of horror nigh,
And rolls low thunder through the troubled sky.

First to the fight the large Hypsiboas flew,
And brave Lychenor with a javelin slew.
The luckless warrior fill'd with generous flame,
Stood foremost glittering in the post of fame;
When in his liver struck, the javelin hung;
The mouse fell thundering, and the target rung ;
Prone to the ground he sinks his closing eye,
And soil'd in dust his lovely tresses lie.

A spear at Pelion Troglodytes cast,
The missive spear within the bosom past;
Death's sable shades the fainting frog surround,
And life's red tide runs ebbing from the wound.

Embasichytros felt Seutlæus' dart

Transfix and quiver in his panting heart;
But great Artophagus aveng'd the slain,
And big Seutlæus tumbling loads the plain,
And Polyphonus dies, a frog renown'd

For boastful speech and turbulence of sound;
Deep through the belly pierc'd, supine he lay,
And breath'd his soul against the face of day.

The strong Lymnocharis, who view'd with ire
A victor triumph, and a friend expire ;
With heaving arms a rocky fragment caught,
And fiercely flung where Troglodytes fought;
A warrior vers'd in arts, of sure retreat,
But arts in vain elude impending fate;
Full on his sinewy neck the fragment fell,
And o'er his eyelids clouds eternal dwell.
Lychenor, second of the glorious name,
Striding advanc'd, and took no wandering aim;
Through all the frog the shining javelin flies,
And near the vanquish'd mouse the victor dies.

The dreadful stroke Crambophagus affrights, Long bred to banquets, less inur'd to fights; Heedless he runs, and stumbles o'er the steep, And wildly floundering flashes up the deep: Lychenor following with a downward blow, Reach'd in the lake his unrecover'd foe; Gasping he rolls, a purple stream of blood Distains the surface of the silver flood;

Through the wide wound the rushing entrails throng, And slow the breathless carcass floats along.

Lymnisius good Tyroglyphus assails,

Prince of the mice that haunt the flowery vales,
Lost to the milky fares and rural seat,
He came to perish on the bank of fate.

The dread Pternoglyphus demands the fight,
Which tender Calaminthius shuns by flight,
Drops the green target, springing quits the foe,
Glides through the lake, and safely dives below.
But dire Pternophagus divides his way

Through breaking ranks, and leads the dreadful day.
No nibbling prince excell'd in fierceness more,
His parents fed him on the savage boar;

But where his lance the field with blood imbru'd,
Swift as he mov'd, Hydrocharis pursu'd,
Till fallen in death he lies; a shattering stone
Sounds on the neck, and crushes all the bone;
His blood pollutes the verdure of the plain,
And from his nostrils bursts the gushing brain

Lychopinax with Borb'rocotes fights,
A blameless frog whom humbler life delights;
The fatal javelin unrelenting flies,
And darkness seals the gentle croaker's eyes.

Incens'd Prassophagus, with sprightly bound,
Bears Cnissodioctes off the rising ground,

Then drags him o'er the lake depriv'd of breath, And downward plunging, sinks his soul to death. But now the great Psycarpax shines afar,

(Scarce he so great whose loss provok'd the war,) Swift to revenge his fatal javelin fled,

And through the liver struck Pelusius dead;
His freckled corpse before the victor fell,
His soul indignant sought the shades of hell.

This saw Pelobates, and from the flood

Heav'd with both hands a monstrous mass of mud :
The cloud obscene o'er all the hero flies,
Dishonours his brown face, and blots his eyes.
Enrag'd, and wildly spluttering, from the shore
A stone immense of size the warrior bore,
A load for labouring earth, whose bulk to raise,
Asks ten degenerate mice of modern days:
Full on the leg arrives the crushing wound;
The frog supportless writhes upon the ground.

Thus flush'd, the victor wars with matchless force,
Till loud Craugasides arrests his course:
Hoarse-croaking threats precede; with fatal speed
Deep through the belly ran the pointed reed,
Then strongly tugg'd, return'd imbru'd with gore;
And on the pile his reeking entrails bore.

The lame Sitophagus, oppress'd with pain, Creeps from the desperate dangers of the plain; And where the ditches rising weeds supply

« PreviousContinue »