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These curling waters o'er thy palace roll;

Plunging he sinks, and struggling mounts again, But man's high food supports my princely soul. And sinks, and strives, but strives with fate in vain : In vain the circled loaves attempt to lie

The weighty moisture clogs his airy vest, 120 Conceal'd in flaskets from my curious eye; And thus the prince his dying rage express'd: In vain the tripe that boasts the whitest hue,

Nor thou that flingst me floundering from thy back, In vain the gilded bacon shuns my view,

As from hard rocks rebounds the shattering wrack, In vain the cheeses, offspring of the pail,

Nor thou shalt 'scape thy due, perfidious king! Or honey'd cakes which gods themselves regale. Pursued by vengeance on the swiftest wing: And as in arts I shine, in arms I fight,

At land thy strength could never equal mine, Mix'd with the bravest, and unknown to flight. 60 At sea to conquer, and by craft was thine. Though large to mine the human form appear,

But heaven has gods, and gods have searching eyes : Not man himself can smite my soul with fear; Ye mice, ye mice, my great avengers rise ! 130 Sly to the bed with silent steps I go,

This said, he sighing gasp'd, and gasping died. Attempt his finger, or attack his toe,

His death the young Lychopinax espied, And fix indented wounds with dexterous skill; As on the flowery brink he pass'd the day, Sleeping he feels, and only seems to feel.

Bask'd in the beam, and loiter'd life away: Yet have we foes which direful dangers cause,

Loud shrieks the mouse, his shrieks the shores repeat; Grim owls with talong arm'd, and cats with claws! The nibbling nation learn their hero's fate; And that false trap, the den of silent fate,

Grief, dismal grief ensues ; deep murmurs sound, Where death his ambush plants around the bait; 70 And shriller fury fills the deafen'd ground; All dreaded these, and dreadful o'er the rest From lodge to lodge the sacred heralds run, The potent warriors of the tabby vest :

To fix their counsel with the rising sun; 140 If to the dark we fly, the dark they trace,

Where great Troxartes crown'd in glory reigns, And rend our heroes of the nibbling race.

And winds his lengthening court beneath the plains: But me, nor stalks, nor waterish herbs delight, Psycarpax' father, father now no more! Nor can the crimson radish charm my sight,

For poor Psycarpax lies remote from shore: The lake-resounding frogs' selected fare,

Supine he lies! the silent waters stand,
Which not a mouse of any taste can bear.

And no kind billow wafts the dead to land !
As thus the downy prince his mind express'd,
His answer thus the croaking king addressed: 80
Thy words luxuriant on thy dainties rove;

And, stranger, we can boast of bounteous Jove :
We sport in water, or we dance on land,

When rosy-finger'd morn had tinged the clouds, And born amphibious, food from both command. Around their monarch-mouse the nation crowds; But trust thyself where wonders ask thy view, Slow rose the monarch, heaved his anxious breast, And safely tempt those seas; I'll bear thee through: And thus the council, fill’d with rage, address'd : Ascend my shoulders, firmly keep thy seat,

For lost Psycarpax much my soul endures;
And reach my marshy court, and feast in state. 'Tis mine the private grief, the public yours :

He said, and lent his back; with nimble bound Three warlike sons adorn'd my nuptial bed,
Leaps the light mouse, and clasps his arms around, Three sons, alas, before their father dead!
Then wondering floats, and sees with glad survey 91 Our eldest perish'd by the ravening cat,
The winding banks resemble ports at sea.

As near my court the prince unheedful sat. 10 But when aloft the curling water rides,

Our next, an engine fraught with danger drew,
And wets with azure wave his downy sides, The portal gaped, the bait was hung in view :.
His thoughts grow conscious of approaching woe, Dire arts assist the trap, the fates decoy,
His idle tears with vain repentance flow;

And men unpitying kill my gallant boy.
His locks he rends, his trembling feet he rears, The last, his country's hope, his parent's pride,
Thick beats his heart with unaccustom'd fears; Plunged in the lake by Physignathus, died.
He sighs, and chill'd with danger, longs for shore: Rouse all the war, my friends ! avenge the deed.
His tail extended forms a fruitless oar.

100 And bleed that monarch, and his nation bleed. Half drench'd in liquid death, his prayers he spake, His words in every breast inspired alarms, And thus bernoan'd him from the dreadful lake: And careful Mars supplied their host with arms. 20 So pass'd Europa through the rapid sea,

In verdant hulls despoild of all their beans, Trembling and fainting all the venturous way; The buskin'd warriors stalk'd along the plains; With oary feet the bull triumphant rode,

Quills aptly bound their bracing corslet made, And safe in Crete deposed his lovely load.

Faced with the plunder of a cat they flay'd; Ah safe at last ! may thus the frog support

The lamp's round boss affords an ample shield, My trembling limbs to reach his ample court. Large shells of nuts their covering helmet yield:

As thus he sorrows, death ambiguous grows : And o'er the region, with reflected rays, Lo! from the deep a water-hydra rose; 110 Tall groves of needles for their lances blaze. He rolls his sanguined eyes, his bosom heaves ; Dreadful in arms the marching mice appear: And darts with active rage along the waves. The wondering frogs perceive the tumult near, 30 Confused, the monarch sees his hissing foe, Forsake the waters, thickening form a ring, And dives to shun the sable fates below.

And ask, and hearken whence the noises spring : Forgetful frog! the friend thy shoulders bore, When near the crowd, disclosed to public view, Unskill'd in swimming, foais remote from shore. The valiant chief Embasichytros drew: He grasps with fruitless hands to find relief, The sacred herald's sceptre graced his hand, Supinely falls, and grinds his teeth with grief; And thus his words express'd his king's command



[Book III

Ye frogs ! the mice, with vengeance fired, advance,sin vain, my father! all their dangers plead; And deck'd in armour shake the shining lance; To such, thy Pallas never grants her aid. Their hapless prince, by Physignathus slain, My flowery wreaths they petulantly spoil, Extends incumbent on the watery plain. 40 And rob my crystal lamps of feeding oil: Then arm your host, the doubtful battle try; (Ills following ills) but what afflicts me more, Lead forth those frogs that have the soul to die. My veil that idle race profanely tore.

110 The chief retires; the crowd the challenge hear, The web was curious, wrought with art divine; And proudly swelling, yet perplex'd appear; Relentless wretches! all the work was mine: Much they resent, yet much their monarch blame, Along the loom the purple warp I spread, Who, rising, spoke to clear his tainted fame: Cast the light shoot, and cross'd the silver thread

O friends! I never forced the mouse to death, In this their teeth a thousand breaches tear: Nor saw the gaspings of his latest breath.

The thousand breaches skilful hands repair; He, vain of youth, our art of swimming tried, For which, vile earthly duns thy daughter griere: And venturous in the lake the wanton died; 50 But gods, that use no coin, have none to give; To vengeance now by false appearance led, And learning's goddess never less can owe; They point their anger at my guiltless head: Neglected learning gets no wealth below. But wage the rising war by deep device,

Nor let the frogs to gain my succour sue, And turn its fury on the crafty mice:

Those clamorous fools have lost my favour too. Your king directs the way: my thoughts elate For late, when all the conflict ceased at night, With hopes of conquest, form designs of fate. When my stretch'd sinews ach'd with eager fight Where high the banks their verdant surface heave, When spent with glorious toil I left the field, And the steep sides confine the sleeping wave, And sunk for slumber on my swelling shield; There, near the margin, and in armour bright, Lo from the deep, repelling sweet repose, Sustain the first impetuous shocks of fight : 60 With noisy croakings half the nation rose : Then where the dancing seather joins the crest, Devoid of rest, with aching brows I lay, Let each brave frog his obvious mouse arrest; Till cocks proclaim'd the crimson dawn of day. 130 Each strongly grasping headlong plunge a foe, Let all, like me, from either host forbear, Till countless circles whirl the lake below; Nor tempt the flying furies of the spear. Down sink the mice in yielding waters drown'd; Let heavenly blood (or what for blood may flow) Loud flash the waters, echoing shores resound: Adorn the conquest of a nobler foe, The frogs triumphant tread the conquer'd plain, Who, wildly rushing, meet the wondrous odds, And raise their glorious trophies of the slain. Though gods oppose, and brave the wounded goda

He spake no more; his prudent scheme imparts O'er gilded clouds reclined, the danger view, Redoubling ardour to the boldest hearts. 70 And be the wars of mortals scenes for you. Green was the suit his arming heroes chose,

So moved the blue-eyed queen; her words perAround their legs the greaves of mallows close;

Green were the beets about their shoulders laid, Great Jove assented, and the rest obey'd.
And green the colewort which the target made;
Form'd of the varied shells the waters yield,
Their glossy helmets glisten'd o'er the field;
And tapering sea-reeds for the polish'd spear,

With upright order pierce the ambient air:
Thus dress'd for war, they take the appointed height, Now front to front the marching armies shine,
Poise the long arms, and urge the promised fight. 80 Halt ere they meet, and form the lengthening lige;

But now, where Jove's irradiate spires arise, The chiefs conspicuous seen, and heard afar, With stars surrounded in ethereal skies,

Give the loud sign to loose the rushing war, (A solemn council callid) the brazen gates Their dreadful trumpets deep-mouth'd hornets sound, Unbar; the gods assume their golden seats : The sounded charge remurmurs o'er the ground; The sire superior leans, and points to show Even Jove proclaims a field of horror nigh, What wondrous combats mortals wage below: And rolls low thunder through the troubled sky. How strong, how large, the numerous heroes stride: First to the fight the large Hypsiboas flew, What length of lance they shake with warlike pride; And brave Lychenor with a javelin slew;

10 What eager fire their rapid march reveals!

The luckless warrior fill'd with generous flame, So the fierce Centaurs ravaged o'er the dales; 90 Stood foremost glittering in the post of fame, And so confirm'd the daring Titans rose,

When in his liver struck, the javelin hung; Heap'd hills on hills, and bade the gods be foes. The mouse fell thundering and the target rung:

This seen, the power his sacred visage rears, Prone to the ground he sinks his closing eye, He casts a pitying smile on worldly cares,

And soil'd in dust his lovely tresses lie.
And asks what heavenly guardians take the list, A spear at Pelion, Troglodytes cast,
Or who the mice, or who the frogs assist ? The missive spear within the bosom past;
Then thus to Pallas: If my daughter's mind Death's sable shades the fainting frog surround,
Have join'd the mice, why stays she still behind ? And life's red tide runs ebbing from the wound.
Drawn forth by savoury steams, they wind their way, Embasichytros felt Seutlæus' dart
And sure attendance round thine altar pay, 100 Transfix and quiver in his panting heart !
Where while the victims gratify their taste, But great Artophagus avenged the slain,
They sport to please the goddess of the feast. And big Seutlæus tumbling loads the plain.

Thus spake the ruler of the spacious skies; And Polyphonus dies, a frog renown'd
When thus, resolved, the blue-eyed mnaid replies : For boastful speech, and turbulence of sound;

Deep through the belly pierced, supine he lay, Hoarse croaking threats precede: with fatal speed And breath'd his soul against the face of day. Deep through the belly runs the pointed reed,

The strong Lymnocharis, who view'd with ire Then, strongly tugg'd, return'd imbrued with gore, A victor triumph, and a friend expire,

30 And on the pile his reeking entrails bore. With heaving arms a rocky fragment caught, The lame Sitophagus, oppress'd with pain, And fiercely flung where Troglodytes fought, Creeps from the desperate dangers of the plain: 100 A warrior versed in arts of sure retreat,

And where the ditches rising weeds supply, Yet arts in vain elude impending fate;

To spread their lowly shades beneath the sky; Full on his sinewy neck the fragment fell,

There lurks the silent mouse relieved of heat, And o'er his eye-lids clouds eternal dwell.

And, safe imbower'd, avoids the chance of fate. Lychenor (second of the glorious name)

But here Troxartes, Physignathus there, Striding advanced, and took no wandering aim; Whirl the dire furies of the pointed spear: Through all the frog the shining javelin flies, Then where the foot around its ankle plies, And near the vanquished mouse the victor dies. 40 Troxartes wounds, and Physignathus flies, The dreadful stroke Crambophagus affrights, Halts to the pool, a safe retreat to find, Long bred to banquets, less inured to fights; And trails a dangling length of leg behind. 110 Heedless he runs, and stumbles o'er the steep, The mouse still urges, still the frog retires, And, wildly floundering, flashes up the deep: And half in anguish of the flight expires : Lychenor, following, with a downward blow Then pious ardour young Prassæus brings, Reach'd, in the lake, his unrecover'd foe;

Betwixt the fortunes of contending kings: Gasping he rolls, a purple stream of blood

Lank, harmless frog! with forces hardly grown, Distains the surface of the silver flood;

He darts the reed in combats not his own, Through the wide wound the rushing entrails throng, Which faintly linkling on Troxartes' shield, And slow the breathless carcass floats along. 50 Hangs at the point, and drops upon the field. Lymnisius good Tyroglyphus assails,

Now nobly towering o'er the rest appears Prince of the mice that haunts the flowery vales ; A gallant prince that far transcends his years, 120 Lost to the milky fares and rural seat,

Pride of his sire, and glory of his house,
Ile came to perish on the bank of fate.

And more a Mars in combat than a mouse:
The dread Pternoglyphus demands the fight, His action bold, robust his ample frame,
Which tender Calaminthius shuns by flight, And Meridarpax his resounding name.
Drops the green target, springing quits the foe, The warrior singled from the fighting crowd,
Glides through the lake, and safely dives below. Boasts the dire honours of his arms aloud;
The dire Pternophagus divides his way

Then strutting near the lake, with looks elate,
Through breaking ranks, and leads the dreadful day; Threats all its nations with approaching fate.
No nibbling prince excell'd in fierceness more; 61 And such his strength, the silver lakes around
His parents fed him on the savage boar:

Might roll their waters o'er unpeopled ground. 130 But where his lance the field with blood imbrued, But powerful Jove, who shows no less his grace Swift as he moved Hydrocharis pursued,

To frogs that perish, than to human race, 'Till fallen in death he lies; a shattering stone Felt soft compassion rising in his soul, Sounds on his neck, and crushes all the bone; And shook his sacred head, that shook the pole His blood pollutes the verdure of the plain, Then thus to all the gazing powers began, And from his nostrils bursts the gushing brain. The sire of gods, and frogs, and mouse, and man: Lychophinax with Borbocætes fights,

What seas of blood I view, what worlds of slain! A blameless frog, whom humbler life delights ; 70 An liad rising from a day's campaign! The fatal javelin unrelenting flies,

How fierce his javelin, o'er the trembling lakes, And darkness seals the gentle croaker's eyes. The black furr'd hero, Meridarpax, shakes! 140 Incensed Prassophagus, with sprightly bound, Unless some favouring deity descend, Bears Cnissodioctes off the rising ground;

Soon will the frogs' loquacious empire end. Then drags him o'er the lake, deprived of breath, Let dreadful Pallas wing’d with pity fly, And downward plunging, sinks his soul to death. And make her agis blaze before his eye: But now the great Psycarpax shines afar

While Mars, refulgent on his rattling car, (Scarce he so great whose loss provoked the war,) Arrests his raging rival of the war. Swift to revenge his fatal javelin fled,

He ceased, reclining with attentive head; And through the liver struck Pelusius dead; 80 When thus the glorious god of combats said: His freckled corse before the victor fell,

Nor Pallas, Jove! though Pallas tako the field, His soul indignant sought the shades of hell. With all the terrors of her hissing shield; 150 This saw Pelobates, and from the flood

Nor Mars himself, though Mars in armour bright
Lifts with both hands a monstrous mass of mud; Ascend his car, and wheel amidst the tight;
The cloud obscene o'er all the warrior flies,

Not these can drive the desperate mouse afar,
Dishonours his brown face, and blots his eyes. And change the fortunes of the bleeding war.
Enraged, and wildly sputtering from the shore, Let all go forth, all heaven in arms arise ;
A stone immense of size the warrior bore;

Or launch thy own red thunder from the skies;
A load for labouring earth, whose bulk to raise, Such ardent bolts as flew that wondrous day,
Asks ten degenerate mice of modern days: 90 When heaps of Titans mix'd with morintains lay;
Full to the leg arrives the crushing wound; When all the giant race enormous fell;
The frog supportless writhes upon the ground. And huge Enceladus was hurl'd to hell.

160 Thus flush'd, the victor wars with matchless force, 'Twas thus th' armipotent advis'd the gods, "Till loud Craugasides arrests his course :

When from his throne the cloud-compeller nods;



[Book II

Deep lengthening thunders run from pole to | Broad spread their backs, tie ir shining shoulders rike pole,

Unnumber'd joints distort their lengthen'd thigtis; Olympus trembles as the thunders roll.

With nervous cords their hands are firmly bracid, Then swift he whirls the brandish'd bolt around, Their round black eye-balls in their bosom plac'd; And headlong darts it at the distant ground; On eight long fect the wondrous warriors tread, The bolt discharg’d, inwrap'd with lightning flies, And either end alike supplies a head. And rends its flaming passage through the skies: These to calı crabs mere mortal wits agree;

190 Then earth's inhabitants, the nibblers, shake; But gods have other names for things than we. And frogs, the dwellers in the waters, quake. 170 Now, where the jointures from their loins depend, Yet still the mice advance their dread design, The heroes' tails with severing grasp they rend. And the last danger threats the croaking line; Here short of feet, depriv'd the power to fly; Till Jove, that inly mourn'd the loss they bore, There, without hands, upon the field they lie. With strange assistance hill'd the frighted shore. Wrench'd from their bulds, and scatter'd all around, Pour'd from the neighbouring strand, deform'd to The blended lances heap the cumber'd ground. view,

Helpless amazement, fear pursuing fear, They march, a sudden unexpected crew.

And mad confusion through their host appear: Strong suits of armour round their bodies close, O’er the wild waste with headlong flight they go Which like thick anvils blunt the force of blows; Or creep conceal'd in vaulted holes below. In wheeling marches turn'd, oblique they go; 180 But down Olympus to the western seas, With harpy claws their limbs divide below: Far-shooting Phæbus drove with fainter rays; Fell sheers the passage to the mouth command; And a whole war (80 Jove ordain'd) begun, From out the flesh the bones by nature stand Was fought, and ceas'd, in one revolving sus






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