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484

THE BATTLE OF THE FROGS AND MICE.

Deep lengthening thunders run from pole to pole,

Olympus trembles as the thunders roll.

170

Then swift he whirls the brandish'd bolt around,
And headlong darts it at the distant ground;
The bolt discharg'd, inwrap'd with lightning flies,
And rends its flaming passage through the skies:
Then earth's inhabitants, the nibblers, shake;
And frogs, the dwellers in the waters, quake.
Yet still the mice advance their dread design,
And the last danger threats the croaking line;
Till Jove, that inly mourn'd the loss they bore,
With strange assistance fill'd the frighted shore.
Pour'd from the neighbouring strand, deform'd to
view,

They march, a sudden unexpected crew.

Strong suits of armour round their bodies close,
Which like thick anvils blunt the force of blows;
In wheeling marches turn'd, oblique they go;
With harpy claws their limbs divide below:
Fell sheers the passage to the mouth command;
From out the flesh the bones by nature stand

180

[Book III

190

Broad spread their backs, their shining shoulders rise
Unnumber'd joints distort their lengthen'd thighs;
With nervous cords their hands are firmly brac'd,
Their round black eye-balls in their bosom plac'd;
On eight long fect the wondrous warriors tread,
And either end alike supplies a head.
These to cali crabs mere mortal wits agree;
But gods have other names for things than we.
Now, where the jointures from their loins depend,
The heroes' tails with severing grasp they rend.
Here short of feet, depriv'd the power to fly;
There, without hands, upon the field they lie.
Wrench'd from their holds, and scatter'd all around,
The blended lances heap the cumber'd ground.
Helpless amazement, fear pursuing fear,
And mad confusion through their host appear:
O'er the wild waste with headlong flight they go 200
Or creep conceal'd in vaulted holes below.

But down Olympus to the western seas,
Far-shooting Phoebus drove with fainter rays;
And a whole war (so Jove ordain'd) begun,
Was fought, and ceas'd, in one revolving sun

THE END.

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