Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 desp’rate dangers of the plain ;
And where the ditches rising weeds supply
To spread their lowly shades beneath the sky,
There lurks the filent Mouse reliev'd from heat,
And safe embow'r'd, avoids the chance of fate.

But here Troxartas, Physignathus there,
Whirl the dire furies of the pointed spear :
But where the foot around its ankle plies,
Troxartas wounds, and Physignathus flies,
Halts to the pool, a safe retreat to find,
And trails a dangling length of leg behind.
The Mouse still urges, still the Frog retires,
And half in anguish of the flight expires.

Then pious ardor young Praffæus brings,
Betwixt the fortunes of contending kings; .
Lank, harmless Frog ! with forces hardly grown,
He darts the reed in combats not his own,

Which

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Which faintly tinkling on Troxartas' shield,
Hangs at the point, and drops upon the field.

Now nobly tow'ring o'er the rest appears
A gallant prince that far transcends his years,
Pride of his fire, and glory of his house,
And more a Mars in combat than a Mouse :
His action bold, robust his ample frame,
And Meridarpax his resounding name.
The warrior singled from the fighting croud,
Boasts the dire honours of his arms aloud ;
Then strutting near the lake, with looks elate,
To all its nations threats approaching fate.
And such his strength, the silver lakes around
Might roll their waters o'er unpeopled ground...
But pow'rful Jove, who shews no less his grace
To Frogs that perish, than to human race,
Felt soft compassion rising in his soul,
And shook his sacred head, that shook the pole.
Then thus to all the gazing pow’rs began
The fire of Gods, and Frogs, and Mice, and Man.

What

What feas of blood I view! what worlds of flain !

An Iliad rising from a day's campaign ;
How fierce his jav'lin o'er the trembling lakes
The black-fur’d heroe Meridarpax shakes!
Unless fome fav’ring Deity descend,
Soon will the Frogs loquacious empire end.
Let dreadful Pallas wing'd with pity Ay,
And make her Ægis blaze before his eye:
While Mars refulgent on his ratling car,
Arrests his raging rival of the war.

He ceas'd, reclining with attentive head,
When thus the glorious God of combats said.
Nor Pallas, Jove! tho' Pallas take the field,
With all the terrors of her hissing shield,
Nor Mars himself, tho' Mars in armour bright
Ascend his car, and wheel amidst the fight;
Not these can drive the desp'rate Mouse afar,
Or change the fortunes of the bleeding war.
Let all go forth, all heav’n in arms arise,
Or launch thy own red thunder from the skies.

Such

Such ardent bolts as flew that wond'rous day,
When heaps of Titans mix'd with mountains laygx.
When all the giant-race enormous fell,
And huge Enceladus was hurl'd to hell.

'Twas thus th' armipotent advis'd the Gods,
When from his throne the cloud-compeller nods,
Deep length’ning thunders run from pole to poleg
Olympus trembles as the thunders roll.
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 fiesy,
And rends its flaming passage thro' the skies :
Then earth's inhabitants, the nibblers, lake,
And Frogs, the dwellers in the waters, quake.
Yet still the Mice adyance their dread design,
And the last danger threats the croaking line,
'Till Jove that inly mourn'd the loss they bore,
With strange assistants fill’d the frighted shore.

Pour’d from the neighb’ring strand, deform’d to They march, a sudden unexpected crew ! [view,

Strong Strong sutes 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 Meers the passage to their mouth command ;
From out the field their bones by nature stand ;.
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 feet the wond'rous warriors tread;
And either end alike supplies a head.
These, mortal wits to call the Crabs, agree,
The Gods have other names for things than we.

Now were the jointures from their loins depend,
The heroes tails with sev'ring grasps they rend.
Here, short of feet, depriv'd the pow'r to fly,
There, without hands, upon the field they lie.
Wrench'd from their holds, and scatter'd all around,
The bended lances heap the cumber'd ground.

Help

« PreviousContinue »