Page images
[ocr errors]

Tons or musical in themselves, they would still appear · I designed to have ended this postscript here: but less poetical and uncommon than those of a dead one, since I am now taking my leave of Homer, and of all from this only circumstance, of being in every man's controversy relating to him, I beg leave to be indulged, mouth. I may add to this another disadvantage to a if I make use of this last opportunity, to say a very few translator, from a different cause: Homer seems to have words about some reflections which the late Madam taken mpon him the character of an historian, anti: Dacier bestowed on the first part of my preface to the Juary, divine, and professor of arts and sciences, as well Iliad, and which she published at the end of her translaas poet. In one or other of these characters, he des. tion of that poem. cends into many peculiarities, which as a poet only To write gravely an answer to them, would be too perhaps he would have avoided. All these ought to be much for the reflections; and to say nothing concerning preserved by a faithful translator, who in some measure them, would be too little for the author. It is owing to takes the place of Homer; and all that can be expected the industry of that learned lady, that our polite neighfrom him is to make them as poetical as the subject will bours, are become acquainted with many of Homer's bear, Many arts therefore are requisite to supply these beauties, which were hidden from them before in Greek disadvantages, in order to dignify and solemnize these and in Eustathius. She challenges on this account a plainer parts, which hardly admit of any poetical orna- particular regard from all the admirers of that great ments.

pnet; and I hope that I shall be thought, as I mean, to Some use has been made to this end of the style of pay some part of this debt to her memory, in what I am Milton. A just and moderate mixture of old words may now writing. have an effect like the working old abbey stones into a Had these reflections fallen from the pen of an ordinary building, which I have sometimes seen to give a kind of critic, I should not have apprehended their effect, and venerable air, and yet not destroy the neatness, elegance, should therefore have been silent concerning them: but and equality, requisite to a new work; I mean, without since they are Madam Dacier's, I imagine that they must rendering it too unfamiliar, or remote from the present be of weight; and in a case where I think her reasoning purity of writing, or from that ease and smoothness, very bad, I respect her authority. which onght always to accompany narration or dialogue. I have fonght under Madam Dacier's banner, and have In reading a style judiciously antiquated, one finds a waged war in defence of the divine Homer against all pleasure not unlike that of travelling on an old Roman the heretics of the age. And yet it is Madam Dacier way: but then the road must be as good as the way is who accuses me, and who accuses me of nothing less ancient: the style must be such in which we may evenly than betraying our common cause. She affirms that the proceed, without being put to short stops by sudden most declared enemies of this author have never said abruptness, or puzzled by frequent turnings and trans- any thing against him more injurious or more unjust positions. No man delights in furrows and stumbling.than I. What must the world think of me, after such a blocks: and let our love to antiquity be ever so great, a judgment passed by so great a critic; the world, who fine ruin is one thing, and a heap of rubbish another. decides so often, and who examines so seldom; the world, The imitators of Milton, like most other imitators, are who even in matters of literature is almost always the not copies but caricatures of their original; they are a slave of authority? Who will suspect that so much hundred times more obsolete and cramp than he, and learning should mistake, that so much accuracy should equally so in all places: whereas it should have been be misled, or that so much candour should be biassed ? observed of Milton, that he is not lavish of his exotic All this however has happened, and Madam Dacier's words and phrases every where alike; but employs them Criticisms on my Preface flow from the very same error, much more where the subject is marvellous, vast, and from which so many false criticisms of her countrymen strange, as in the scenes of heaven, hell, chaos, &c. than upon Homer have flowed, and which she has so justly where it is turned to the natural and agreeable, as in and so severely reproved; I mean the error of dependthe pictures of paradise, the loves of our first parents, ing on injurious and unskilful translations. entertainments of angels, and the like. In general, this An indifferent translation may be of some use, and a unusual style better serves to awaken our ideas in the good one will be of a great deal. But I think that no descriptions and in the imaging and picturesque parts, translation ought to be the ground of criticism, because than it agrees with the lower sort of narrations, the no man ought to be condemned npon another man's character of which is simplicity and purity. Milton has explanation of his meaning: could Homer have had the several of the latter, where we find not an antiquated, honour of explaining his, before that august tribunal äffected, or uncouth word, for some hundred lines where Monsieur de la Motte presides, 1 make no doubt together; as in his fifth book, the latter part of the but he had escaped many of those severe animadversions tenth and eleventh books, and in the narration of with which some French authors have loaded him, and Michael in the twelfth. I wonder indeed that he, who from which even Madam Dacier's translation of the Iliad ventured (contrary to the practice of all other epic poets) could not preserve him. to imitate Homer's lowness in the narrative, should not How unhappy was it for me, that the knowledge of also have copied his plainness and perspicuity in the our island-tongue was as necessary to Madam Dacier in dramatic parts: since in his speeches (where clearness my case, as the knowledge of Greek was to Monsieur de above all is necessary) there is frequently such trans- la Motte in that of our great author; or to any of those position and forced construction, that the very sense is whom she styles blind censurers, and blames for connot to be discovered without a second or third reading, demning what they did not understand. and in this certainly ought to be no example.

I may say with modesty, that she knew less of my true To preserve the true character of Homer's style in the setise from that faulty translation of part of my Preface, présent translation, great pains ha been taken be than those blind censurers might have known of Homer's easy and natural. The chief merit I can pretend to, is, even from the translation of la Valterie, which preceded not to have been carried into a more plausible and her own. figurative manner of writing, which would better have It pleased me however to find, that her objections were pleased all readers, but the judicious ones. My errors not levelled at the general doctrine, or at any essentials had been fewer, had each of those gentlemen who joined of my Preface, but only at a few particular expressions, with me shown as much of the severity of a friend to me, She proposed little more than (to use her own phrase) to as I did to them, in a strict animadversion and correction. combat two or three similes; and I hope that to combat What assistance I received from them, was made known a simile is no more than to fight with a shadow, since a in general to the public in the original proposals for this simile is no better than the shadow of an argument. work, and the particulars are specified at the conclusion She lays much weight where I laid but little, and of it; to which I must add (to be punctually just) some examines with more scrupulosity than I writ, or than part of the tenth and fifteenth books. The reader will perhaps the matter requires. be too good a judge, how much the greater part of it, and These unlucky similes, taken by themselves, may consequently of its faults, is chargeable upon me alone. perhaps render my meaning equivocal to an ignorant But this I can with integrity affirm, that I have bestowed translator; or there may have fallen from my pen some as much time and pains upon the whole, as were cor- expressions, which, taken by themselves, likewise, may sistent with the indispensable duties and cares of life, to the same person have the same effect. But if the and with that wretched state of health which God has translator had been master of our tongue, the general been pleased to make my portion. At the least, it is a tenor of my argument, that which precedes and that pleasure to me to reflect, that I have introduced into our which follows the passages objected to, would have language this other work of the greatest and most ancient sufficiently determined him as to the precise meaning of of poets, with some dignity; and, I hope, with as little them: and if Madam Dacier bad taken up her pen a disadvantage as the Iliad. And if, after the unmerited little more leisurely, or had employed it with more temsuccess of that translation, any one will wonder why I per, she would not have answered paraphrases of her would enterprise the Odyssey; I think it sufficient to own, which even the translation will not justify, and say, that Homer himself did the same, or the world would never have seen it.

* Second edition, at Paris, 1719.

which say, more than once, the .ery contrar; lo what I because it is acled or spoken.' Agreed: but I would ask have said in the passages themselves.

the question, whether anything can have manners which If any person has curiosity enough to read the whole is neither acted or spoken? If not, then the whole Iliad paragraplis in my Preface, on some mangled parts of being almost spent in speech and action, almost every which these reflections are made, he will easily discern thing in it has manners; since Homer has been proved that I am as orthodox as Madame Dacier herself in those before, in a long paragraph of the Preface, to have ex. very articles on which she treats me like an heretic; he celled in drawing characters and painting manners; and will easily see that all the difference between us consists indeed his whole poem is one continued occasion of inthis, that I offer opinions, and she delivers doctrines; shewing this bright part of his talent. that my imagination represents Homer as the greatest To speak fairly, it is impossible she could read even of human poets, whereas in hers he was exalted above the translation and take my sense so wrong as she humanity; infallibility and impeccability were two of his represents it: but I was first translated ignorantly, and attributes. There was therefore no need of defending then read partially. My expression indeed was not quite Homer against me, who (if I mistake not) had carried exact; it should have been, 'Every thing has manners, my admiration of him as far as it can be carried, ithout as Aristotle calls them.' But such a fault, methinks, giving a real occasion of writing in his defence.

might have been spared; since if one was to look with After answering my harmless similes, she proceeds to that disposition she discovers towards me, even on her a matter which does not regard so much the honour of own excellent writings, one might find some mistakes Homer, as that of the times he lived in; and here I must which no context can redress; as where she makes confess she does not wholly mistake my meaning, but I Eustathius call Cratisthenes the Philiasian, Callisthenes think she mistakes the state of the question. She had the Physician.* What a triumph might some slips of said, the manners of those times were so much the this sort have afforded to Homer's, hers, and my enemies, better, the less they were like ours. I thought this re- from which she was only screened by their happy ignoquired a little qualification. I confest that in my opinion rance! How unlucky had it been, when she insulted the world was mended in some points, such as the custom Mr. de la Motte for omitting a material passage in the of putting whole nations to the sword, condemning kings speech of Helen to Hector, Iliad vit if some champion and their families to perpetual slavery, and a few others. for the moderns had by chance understood so much Madam Dacier judges otherwise in this; but as to the Greek, as to whisper him, that there was no such pas, rest, particularly in preferring the simplicity of the sage in Homer! ancient world to the luxury of ours, which is the main Our concern, zeal, and even jealousy for our great point contended for, she owns we agree. This I thought author's honour were mutual; our endeavours to advance was well, but I am so unfortunate that this too is taken it were equal: and I have as often trembled for it in her amniss, and called adopting or (if you will) stealing her hands, as she could in mine. It was one of the many sentiment. The truth is, she might have said her words, reasons I had to wish the longer life of this lady, that i for I used them on purpose, being then professedly citing must certainly have regained her good opinion, in spite from her: though I might have done the same without of all misrepresenting translators whatever. I could not intending that compliment, for they are also to be found have expected it on any other terms than being approved in Eustathius, and the sentiment I believe is that of all as great, if not as passionate, an admirer of Homer as mankind. I cannot really tell what to say to this whole herself. For that was the first condition of her favour remark, only that in the first part of it, Madam Dacier and friendship; otherwise not one's taste alone, but

one's is displeased that I do not agree with her, and in the last morality had been corrupted, nor 'would any man's that I do: but this is a temper which every polite man religion have been unsuspected, who did not implicitly should overlook in a lady.

believe in an author whose doctrine is so conformable to To punish my ingratitude, she resolves to expose my Holy Scripture. However, as different people have blunders, and selects two which I suppose are the most different ways of expressing their belief, some purely by flagrant, out of the many for which she could have public and general acts of worship, others by a reverend chastised me. It happens that the first of these is, in sort of reasoning and inquiry about the gro'inds of it; it part the translator's, and in part her own, without any is the same in admiration, some prove it by exclamations, share of mine: she quotes the end of a sentence, and he others by respect. I have observed that the loudest puis in French what I never wrote in English: - Homer huzzas given to a great man in a triumph, proceed not (I said) opened a new and boundless walk for his ima- from his friends, but the rabble; and as I have fancied givation, and created a world for himself in the inven- it the same with the rabble of critics, a desire to be distion of fable;' which be translates, 'Homer crea pour tinguished from them has turned me to the more modeson usage un monde mouvant, en inventant la fable.' rate, and I hope, more rational method. Though I am a

Madam Dacier justly wonders at this nonsense in poet, I would not be an enthusiast; and though I am an me, and I in the translator. As to what I meant by Englishma. I would not be furiously of a party. I am Homer's invention of fable, it is afterwards particularly far from thinking myself that genius, upon whom, at the distinguished from that extensive sense in which she end of these remarks, Madam Dacier congratulates my took it, by these words: 'If Homer was not the first country; one capable of correcting Homer, and consewho introduced the deities (as Herodotus imagines) qnently of reforming mankind, and amending this coninto the religion of Greece, he seems the first who stitution. It was not to Great Britain this ought to brought them into a system of machinery, for poetry.' have been applied, since our nation has one happiness

The other blunder she accuses me of is, the mistaking for which she might have preferred it to her own, that as a passage in Aristotle, and she is pleased to send me much as we abound in other niiserable misguided sects, back to this philosopher's treatise of Poetry, and to her we have at least none of the blasphemers of Homer. We Preface on the Odyssey for my better instruction. Now steadfastly and unanimously believe, both his poem, and though I am saucy enough to think that one may some- our constitution, to be the best that ever human wit times differ from Aristotle without blundering, and invented: that the one is not more incapable of amendthough I am sure one may sometimes fall into an error ment than the other; and (old as they both are), we by following him servilely; yet I own, that to quote any despise any French or Englishman whatever, who shall author for what he never said, is a blunder; (but, by presume to retrench, to innovate, or to make the least the way, to correct an author for what he never said, is alteration in either. Far therefore from the genius for somewhat worse than a blunder). My words were which Madam Dacier mistook me, my whole desire is these: "As there is a greater variety of characters in but to preserve the humble character of a faithful the Iliad, than in any other poem, so there is of speeches. translator, and a quiet subject. Every thing in it has manners, as Aristotle expresses it; that is, every thing is acted or spoken; very little passes * Dacier Remarques surde 4me livre de l'Odyss. p. 467. in narration. She justly says, that. Every thing which + De la Corruption du Gout. is acted or spoken, has not necessarily manners, merely

[blocks in formation]

PSYOÀRPAX, one who plunders granaries.
TROXARtes, a bread-eater.
LYCHOMYLE, a licker of meal.
PTERNOTROCTAs, a bacon-eater.
LYCHOPINAX, a licker of dishes.
EMBASICHYTROS, a creeper into pots.
LYCHENOR, a name from licking.
TROGLODYTES, one who runs into holes.
ARTOPHAGUS, who feeds on bread,
TYROGLYPHUS, a cheese-scooper.
PTERNOGLYPHUS, a bacon-scooper
PTERNOPHAGUS, a bacon-eater.
CNISSODIOCTES, one who follows the steam of kitcheng.
SITOPHAGUS, an eater of wheat.
MERIDARPAX, one who plunders his share,

PAYSIGNATHUS, one who swells his cheeks.
PELEUS, a name from mud.
HYDROMEDUSE, a ruler in the water
HYPSIBOAS, a loud bawler.
PELION, from mud.
SEUTLÆUS, called from the beets.
POLYPHONU8, a great babbler.
LYMNOCHARIS, one who loves the lake
CRAMBOPHAGUS, cabbage-eater.
LYMNISIUS, called from the lake.
CALAMINTHIUS, from the herb.
HYDROCHARIS, who loves the water.
BORBOCATES, who lies in the mud.
PRASSOPHAGUS, an eater of garlic.
PELUSIUS, from mud.
PELOBATES, who walks in the dirt
PRASSÆUS, called from garlic.
CRAUGASIDES, from croaking.

[ocr errors]




If worthy friendship, proffer'd friendship take,

And, entering, view the pleasurable lake:
Range o'er my palace, in my bounty share,
And glad return from hospitable fare.
This silver realm extends beneath my sway,

And me, their monarch, all its frogs obey.
all my rising
song with sacred hre,

Great Physignathus I, from Peleus' race, Ye tuneful Nine, ye sweet celestial quire!

Begot in fair Hydromeduse' embrace, From Helicon's imbowering height repair,

Where by the nuptial bank that paints his side Attend my labours, and reward my prayer.

The swift Eridanus delights to glide. The dreadful toils of raging Mars I write,

5 Thee too, thy form, thy strength, and port declaim, The springs of contest, and the fields of fight;

A scepter'd king; a son of martial fame; How threatening mice advanced with warlike grace, Then trace thy line, and aid my guessing eyes. And waged dire combats with the croaking race. Thus ceased the frog, and thas the mouse replies: Not louder tumults shook Olympus' towers,

Known to the gods, the men, the birds that fly When earth-born giants dared immortal powers. 10 Through wild expanses of the midway sky, These equal acts an equal glory claim,

My name resounds; and if unknown to thee, And thus the muse records the tale of fame.

The soul of great Psycarpax lives in me. Once on a time, fatigued and out of breath,

Of brave Troxartes' line, whose sleeky down And just escaped the stretching claws of death,

In love compress'd Lychomyle the brown. A gentle mouse, whom cats pursued in vain, 15 My mother she, and princess of the plains Flies swift of foot across the neighbouring plain,

Where'er her father Pternotroctas reigns : Hangs o'er a brink his eager thirst to cool,

Born where a cabin lifts its airy shed, And dips his whiskers in the standing pool;

With figs, with nuts, with varied dainties fed.
When near a courteous frog advanced his head, But since our natures nought in common know,
And from the waters, hoarse resounding said: 20 From what foundation can a friendship grow?

What art thou, stranger? what the line you boast? These curling waters o'er thy palace roll;
What chance hath cast thee panting on our coast? But man's high food supports my princely soul.
With strietest truth let all thy words agree,

In vain the circled loaves attempt to lie
Nor let me find a faithless mouse in thee.

Conceal d in flaskets from my curious eye;





In vain the tripe that boasts the whitest hue,

In vain the gilded bacon shuns my view,
In vain the cheeses, offspring of the pail,
Or boney'd cakes which gods themselves regale.
And as in arts I shine, in arms I fight,

Mix'd with the bravest, and unknown to flight. 60
Though large to mine the human form appear,
Nut man himself can smite my soul with fear;
Sly to the bed with silent steps I go
Attempt his finger, or attack his toe,

WHEN rosy.finger'd morn had tinged the clouds,

Around their monarch-mouse the nation crowds; And fixindented wounds with dexterous skill; 65 Slow rose the monarch, heaved his anxious breast, Sleeping he teels, and only seems to feel.

And thus the council fill'd with rage address'd: Yet have we foes which direful dangers cause,

For lost Psycarpax much my soul endures;

5 Grim owls with talons arm'd, and cats with claws! 'Tis mine the private grief, the public, yours: And that false trap, the den of silent fate,

Three warlike sons adorn'd my nuptial bed, Where death his ambush plants around the bait; 70 Three sons, alas, before their father dead! All dreaded these, and dreadful o'er the rest

Our eldest perish'd by the ravening cat, The potent warriors of the tabby vest:

As near my court the prince unbeedful sate.

10 If to the dark we fly, the dark they trace,

Our next, an engine fraught with danger drew,
And rend our heroes of the nibbling race.

The portal gaped, the bait was hung in view,
But me, nor stalks, nor waterish herbs delight, 75 Dire arts assist the trap, the fates decoy,
Nor can the crimson radish charm my sight,

And men unpitying kill my gallant boy.
The lake-resounding frogs' selected fare,

The last, his country's hope, his parent's pride, 15 Which not a mouse of any taste can bear.

Plunged in the lake by Physignathus died. As thus the downy prince his mind express'd

Rouse all the war, my friends! avenge the deed. His answer thus the croaking king address'd: 80 And bleed that monarch, and his nation bleed. Thy words luxuriant on thy dainties rove;

His words in every breast inspired alarms, And, stranger, we can boast of bounteous Jove:

And careful Mars supplied their host with arms.

20 We sport in water, or we dance on land,

In verdant lulls despoil'd of all their beans,
And born amphibious, food from both command. The buskin'd warriors stalk'd along the plains;
But trust thyself where wonders ask thy view, 85 Quills aptly bound their bracing corslet made,
And safely tempt those seas, I'll bear thee through: Faced with the plunder of a cat they lay'd ;
Ascend my shoulders, firmly keep thy seat,

The lamp's round boss affords their ample shield,

25 And reach my marshy court, and feast in state.

Large shells of nuts their covering helmet yield:
He said, and lent his back; with nimble bound And o'er the region, with reflected rays,
Leaps the light mouse, and clasps his arms around, 90 | Tall grores of needles for their lances blaze.
Then wondering floats, and sees with glad survey Dreadful in arms the marching mice appear:
The winding banks dissemble ports at sea.

The wondering frogs perceive the tumult near,

30 Bnt when aloft the curling water rides,

Forsake the waters, thickening form a ring, And wets with azure wave his downy sides,

And ask, and hearken whence the noises spring; His thoughts grow conscious of approaching woe, 95 When near the crowd, disclosed to public view, His idle tears with vain repentance flow,

The valiant chief Embasichytros drew: His locks he rends, his trembling feet he rears,

The sacred herald's sceptre graced his hand,

35 Thick beats his heart with unaccustom'd fears ;

And thus his words express'd his king's command : He sighs, and chill'd with danger, longs for shore:

Ye frogs! the mice, with vengeance fired advance, His tail extended forms a fruitless oar.

100 | And deck'd in armour shake the shining lance; Half drench'd in liquid death, his prayers he spake, Their hapless prince, by Physignathus slain, And thus bemoan'd him from the dreadful lake:

Extends incumbent on the watery plain.

40 So pass'd Enropa through the rapid sea,

Then arm your host, the doubtful battle try; Trembling and fainting all the venturous way;

Lead forth those frogs that have the soul to die. With oary feet the bull triumphant rode,

105 The chief retires, the crowd the challenge hear, And safe in Crete deposed his lovely load.

And proudly swelling, yet perplex'd appear; Ah safe at last: may thus the frog support

Much they resent, yet much their monarch blame,

45 My trembling limbs to reach his ample court.

Who rising, spoke to clear his tainted fame: As thus he sorrows, death ambiguous grows:

O friends! I never forced the mouse to death, Lo! from the deep a water-hydra rose;

110 Nor saw the gaspings of his latest breath. He rolls his sanguined eyes, his bosom heaves;

He vain of youth our art of swimming tried, And darts with active rage along the waves.

And venturous in the lake the wanton died;

50 Confused, the monarch sees his hissing foe,

To vengeance now by false appearance led,
And dives to shun the sable fates below.

They point their anger at my guiltless head:
Forgetful frog! the friend thy shoulders bore, 115 But wage the rising war by deep device,
Unskill'd in swimming, floats remote from shore. And turn its fury on the crafty nice,
grasps with fruitless hands to find relief,
Your king directs the way; my thoughts elate

55 Supinely falls, and grinds his teeth with grief;

With hopes of conquest, form designs of fate.
Plunging he sinks, and struggling mounts again, Where high the banks their verdant surface heave,
And sinks, and strives, but strives with fate in vain 120 And the steep sides confine the sleeping wave,
The weighty moisture clogs his airy vest,

There, near the margin, and in armour bright,
And thus the prince his dying rage expressid:

Sustain the first impetuous shocks of fight:

60 Nor thou that fling'st me floundering from thy back, Then where the dancing feather joins the crest, As from hard rocks rebounds the shattering wrack, Let each brave frog his obvious mouse arrest; Nor thou shalt 'scape thy due, perfidious king! 125

Each strongly grasping headlong plunge a foe, Pursued by vengeance on the swiftest wing:

Till countless circles whirl the lake below; At land thy strength could never equal mine,

Down sink the mice in yielding waters drown'd; 05 At sea to conquer, and by craft, was thine.

Loud flash the waters, echoing shores resound: But heaven has gods, and gods have, searching eyes: The frogs triumphant tread the conquer'd plain, Ye inice, ye mice, my great avengers rise!

130 And raise their glorious trophies of the slain, This said, he sighing gasp'd, and gasping died.

He spake no more, his prudent scheme imparts His death the young Lychopinax espied,

Redoubling ardour to the boldest hearts.

70 As on the flowery brink he pass'd the day,

Green was the suit his arming heroes chose, Bask'd in the beam, and loiter'd life away:

Around their legs the greaves of mallows close; Loud shrieks the mouse, his shrieks the shores repeat: Green were the beets about their shoulders laid, The nibbling nation learn their hero's fate; 136 And green the colewort which the target made; Grief, dismal grief ensuęs; deep murmurs sound, Form'd of the varied shells the waters yield,

75 And shriller fury fills the deafen'd ground;

Their glossy helmets glisten'd o'er the field; From lodge to lodge the sacred heralds run,

And tapering sea-reeds for the polish'd spear, To fix their counsel with the rising sun;

140 With upright order pierce the ambient air: Where great Troxartes crown'd in glory reigns,

Thus dress'd for war, they take the appointed height, And winds his lengthening court beneath the plains: Poise the long arms, and urge the promised fight. 80 Psycarpax' father, father now no more!

But now, where Jove's irradiate spires arise, For poor Psycarpax lies remote from shore:

With stars surrounded in etherial skies, Supine he lies! the silent waters stand,

145 (A solemn council call's) the brazen gates And no kind billow wafts the dead to land!

Unbar; the gods assume their golden seats:




91 The sire superior leans, and points to show 851 The strong Lymnocharis, who view'd with ire What wonderous cothbats mortals wage below:

A victor triumph, and a friend expire;
How strong, bow large, the numerous heroes stride : With heaving arms a rocky fragment caught,
What length of lance they shake with warlike pride; And fiercely #ung where Troglodytes fought,
What eager fire their rapid march reveals!

A warrior versed in arts of sure retreat,
So the tierce Centaurs ravaged o'er the dales; 90 Yet arts in vain elude impending fate ;
And so confiru'd the daring Titans rose,

Full on his sinewy neck the fragment fell,

35 Heap'd hills on hills, and bade the gods be foes.

And o'er his eye-lids clouds eternal dwell.
This seen, the power his sacred visage rears,

Lychenor (second of the glorious name),
He casts a pitying smile on worldly cares,

Striding advanced, and took no wandering alm;
And asks what heavenly guardians take the list, 95 Through all the frog the shining javelin flies,
Or who the mice, or who the frogs assist?

And near the vanquish'd mouse the victor dies. 40 Then thus to Pallas: If my daughter's mind

The dreadful stroke Crambophagus affrights, Have join'd the mice, why stays she still behind

Long bred to banquets, less inured to fights; Drawn forth by savoury steams, they wind their way, Heedless he runs, and stumbles o'er the steep, And sure attendance round thine altar pay, 100 And wildly foundering, flashes up the deep: Where while ibe victims gratify their taste,

Lychenor, following, with a downward blow

45 They sport to please the goddess of the feast.

Reach’d, in the lake, his unrecover'd foe;
Thus spake the ruler of the spacious skies;

Gasping he rolls, a purple stream of blood
When this, resolved, the blue-eyed maid replies: Distains the surface of the silver flood;
In vain, my father! all their dangers plead; 105 Through the wide wound the rushing entrails throng,
To such, thy Pallas never grants her aid.

And slow the breathless carcass floats along.

50 My flowery wreaths they petulantly spoil,

Lyonisius good Tyroglyphus assails, And rob my crystal lamps of feeding oil:

Prince of the mice that haunt the flowery vales; (Ills following ills) but what afflicts me more,

Lost to the milky fares and rural seat, My veil that idle race profanely tore.

110 He came to perish on the bank of fate. The web was curious, wronght with art divine; The dread Pternoglyphus demands the fight,

55 Relentless wretches! als the work was mine:

Which tender Calaminthius shuns by tlight, Along the loom the purple warp I spread,

Drops the green target, springing quits the foe,
Cast the light shoot, and crost the silver thread.

Glides through the lake, and safely dives below.
In this their teeth a thousand breaches tear; 115 The dire Pternophagus divides his way
The thousand breaches skilful hands repair;

Through breaking ranks, and leads the dreadful day; 60
For which, vile earthly duns thy daughter grieve: No nibbling prince excell'd in fierceness more;
But gods, that use no coin, have none to give;

His parents fed him on the savage boar: And learning's goddess never less can owe;

But where his lance the field with blood imbrued, Neglected learning gets no wealth below.

120 Swist as he moved Hydrocharis pursued, Nor let the frogs to gain my succour sue,

"Till fallen in death he lies; a shattering stone 'Those clamorous fools have lost my favour too.

Sounds on the neck, and crushes all the bone;
For late, when all the conflict ceased at night,

His blood pollutes the verdure of the plain,
When my stretch'd sinews ach'd with eager fight; And from his nostrils bursts the gushing brain.
When spent with glorious toil I left the field, 125 Lychopinax with Borbocætes fights,
And sunik for slumber on my swelling shield;

A blameless frog, whom humbler life delights; 70 Lo from the deep, repelling sweet repose,

The fatal javelin unrelenting flies, With noisy croakings half the nation rose:

And darkness seals the gentle croaker's eyes.
Devoid of rest, with aching brows I lay,

Incensed Prassophagus, with sprightly bound,
Till cocks proclaim'd the crimson dawn of day. 130 Bears Cnissodioctes off the rising ground:
Let all, like me, from either host forbear,

Then drags him o'er the lake, deprived of breath: 75 Nor tempt the flying furies of the spear.

And downward plunging, sinks his soul to death.
Let heavenly blood (or what for blood may flow) But now the great Psycarpax shines afar
Adorn the conquest of a nobler foe,

(Scarce he so great whose loss provoked the war), Who, wildly rushing, meet the wondrous odds, 135 Swift to revenge his fatal javelin fled. Though gods oppose, and brave the wounded gods. And through the liver struck Pelusius dead;

80 O'er gilded clonds reclined, the danger view,

His freckled corse before the victor fell, And he the wars of mortals scenes for you.

His soul indiguant sought the shades of hell.
So moved the blue-eyed queen, her words pursuade; This saw Pelobates, and from the flood
Great Jove assented, and the rest obey'd.

140 Lifts with both hands a monstrous mass of mud;
The cloud obscene o'er all the warrior flies,

85 Dishonours his brown face, and blots his eyes.

Enraged, and wildly sputtering from the shore,

A stone immense of size the warrior bore;
A load for labouring earth, whose bulk to raise,
Ask ten degenerate mice of modern days:

90 Full to the leg arrives the crushing wound;

The frog supportless writhes upon the ground. NOW front to front the marching armies shine, Thus flush'd the victor wars with matchless force,

Halt ere they meet, and form the lengthening line; "Till loud Craugasides arrests his course: The chiefs conspicuous seen, and heard afar,

Hoarse croaking threats precede; with fatal speed 95 Give the lond sign to loose the rushing war;

Deep through the belly runs the pointed reed, Their dreadful trumpets deep-month'd hornets sound, 5 Then, strongly tugg'd, return'd imbrued with gore, The sounded charge remurmurs o'er the ground; And on the pile his reeking entrails bore. Even Jove proclaims a field of horror nigh,

The lame Sitophagus, oppress'd with pain, And rolls low thunder through the troubled sky.

Creeps from the desperate dangers of the plain:

100 First to the fight the large Hypsiboas flew,

And where the ditches rising weeds supply, And brave Lychenor with a javelin slew;

10 To spread the lowly shades beneath the sky; The luckless warrior fillid with generous flame,

There lurks the silent mouse relieved of heat, Stood foremost glittering in the

post of fame,

And, safe imbower'd, avoids the chance of fate. When in his liver struck, the javelin hung;

But here Troxartes, Physignathus there,

105 The mouse fell thundering and the target rung:

Whirl the dire furies of the pointed spear: Prone to the ground he sinks his closing eye, 15 Then where the foot around its ankle plies, And soil'd in dust, his lovely tresses lie.

Troxartes wounds, and Physignathus flies, A spear at Pelion, Troglodytes cast;

Halts to the pool, a safe retreat to find. The missive spear within the bosom past;

And trails a dangling length of leg behind.

110 Death's sable shades the fainting frog surround,

The mouse still urges, still the frog retires, And life's red tide runs ebbing from the wound. 20 And halfin anguish of the flight expires: Embasichytros felt Sentlæus' dart

Then pious ardour young Prassæus brings, Transfix and quiver in his panting heart!

Betwixt the fortunes of contending kings: But great Artophagus avenged the slain,

Lank, harmless frog! with forces hardly grown,

115 And big Seutlæns tumbling loads the plain.

He darts the reed in combats not his own, And Polyphonus dies, a frog renown'd

25 Which faintly tinkling on Troxartes' shield, For boastful speech, and turbulence of sound;

Hangs at the point, and drops upon the field. Deep through the belly pierced, supine he lay,

Now nobly towering o'er the rest appears Gud breath'd his soul against the face of day.

A gallant prince that far transcends his years, 120

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »