Homer's Battle Of The Frogs And Mice. Book III

Thomas Parnell 1679 (Dublin) – 1718

Now Front to Front the marching Armies shine,
Halt e'er they meet, and form the length'ning Line,
The Chiefs conspicuous seen, and heard afar,
Give the loud Sign to loose the rushing War;
Their dreadful Trumpets deep-mouth'd Hornets sound,
The sounded Charge remurmurs o'er the Ground,
Ev'n Jove proclaims a Field of Horror nigh,
And rolls low Thunder thro' the troubled Sky.

First to the Fight the large Hypsiboas flew,
And brave Lychenor with a Javelin slew.
The luckless Warriour fill'd with gen'rous Flame,
Stood foremost glitt'ring in the Post of Fame;
When in his Liver struck, the Jav'lin hung;
The Mouse fell thund'ring, 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 thro' 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;
And fiercely flung where Troglodytes fought,
With heaving Arms a rocky Fragment caught,
A Warriour vers'd in Arts, of sure Retreat,
Yet Arts in vain elude impending Fate;
Full on his sinewy Neck the Fragment fell,
And o'er his Eye-lids Clouds eternal dwell.
Lychenor (second of the glorious Name)
Striding advanc'd, and took no wand'ring Aim;
Thro' all the Frog the shining Jav'lin 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 flound'ring 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;
Thro' the wide Wound the rushing Entrails throng,
And slow the breathless Carkass floats along.
Lymnisius good Tyroglyphus assails,
Prince of the Mice that haunt the flow'ry 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 thro' the Lake, and safely dives below.
The dire Pternophagus divides his Way
Thro' 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 fall'n in Death he lies, a shatt'ring 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.
Lycopinax with Borbocætes fights
A blameless Frog, whom humbler Life delights;
The fatal Jav'lin unrelenting flies,
And Darkness seals the gentle Croaker's Eyes.
Incens'd Prassophagus with spritely Bound,
Bears Cnissiodortes 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 Jav'lin fled,
And thro' the Liver struck Pelusius dead;
His freckled Corps before the Victor fell,
His Soul indignant sought the Shades of Hell.
This saw Pelobates, and from the Flood
Lifts with both Hands a monst'rous Mass of Mud,
The Cloud obscene o'er all the Warrior flies,
Dishonours his brown Face, and blots his Eyes.
Enrag'd, and wildly sputtring, from the Shore
A Stone immense of Size the Warrior bore,
A Load for lab'ring Earth, whose Bulk to raise,
Asks ten degen'rate Mice of modern Days.
Full to the Leg arrives the crushing Wound,
The Frog supportless, wriths 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 thro' the Belly runs the pointed Reed,
Then strongly tug'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
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Thomas Parnell

Thomas Parnell was an Anglo-Irish poet and clergyman who was a friend of both Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift. He was the son of Thomas Parnell of Maryborough, Queen's County now Port Laoise, County Laoise}, a prosperous landowner who had been a loyal supporter of Cromwell during the English Civil War and moved to Ireland after the restoration of the monarchy. Thomas was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and collated archdeacon of Clogher in 1705. He however spent much of his time in London, where he participated with Pope, Swift and others in the Scriblerus Club, contributing to The Spectator and aiding Pope in his translation of The Iliad. He was also one of the so-called "Graveyard poets": his 'A Night-Piece on Death,' widely considered the first "Graveyard School" poem, was published posthumously in Poems on Several Occasions, collected and edited by Alexander Pope and is thought by some scholars to have been published in December of 1721 (although dated in 1722 on its title page, the year accepted by The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature; see 1721 in poetry, 1722 in poetry). It is said of his poetry 'it was in keeping with his character, easy and pleasing, ennunciating the common places with felicity and grace. more…

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"Homer's Battle Of The Frogs And Mice. Book III" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 13 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/37017/homer's-battle-of-the-frogs-and-mice.--book-iii>.

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