The Frogmousiad

Stripped them leaves of the mallow to guard their shanks in the fray,
Breastplates the broad green beet, and the cabbage furnishes shields,
While for spear a bulrush’s length each champion wields,
And for a visor dons the untenanted shell of a snail :—
Thus they stood on the bank arrayed in ponderous mail,
Poising their terrible spears, resolved at no peril to quail.

Then the King of the Gods called his council up in the sky,
Bade them the gathering crowds and doughty heroes espy,
And with a smile demanded : “ The side of the Frogs who will take ?
Who will befriend the Mice ? “ And thus to Minerva he spake :
“ Thou, my daughter, wilt go and give aid to the Mice, without doubt
Creatures who in thy temple are always scamp’ring about,
Picking up sundry scraps and sniffing the roast sacrifice.”
“ Father, indeed you’re mistaken,” replied Minerva, “ these Mice
No friends of mine I reckon : they are such mischievous scamps,
Gnawing the sacred garlands, and sipping the oil of the lamps :
Worse too than this have they done—they gnawed great holes in a shawl,
Which I had lately woven, the closest, finest of all ,
Both in warp and in woof. But for all their mischievous pranks


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