I’m not going to help their foes : for I owe them no thanks,
Ill-natured brutes ! who lately, when I’d come home tired out
After fighting all day, made such a detestable rout,
Croaking all night, that I couldn’t sleep, not the least little bit,
Lying till cock-crow awake, with my poor head ready to split.
Nay—let us hold our hands, nor join in this terrible fray :
Some of us might get wounded, for sharp are their weapons, and they
Fight at close quarters, I ween, and even a god will defy.
‘Twill be a safer pastime to watch them here in the sky.”
So she advised, and the gods considered her argument sound.
Then, as the warriors mustered below on the battle-ground,
Came the gnats with their trumpets, to sound the onset of war,
While the thunder-signal of Jove resounded afar.
First with his lance at rest Harsh-croaker wounded to death,
Lick-gravy stationed in front, and pierced the source of his breath ;
Headlong he fell, and laid his delicate fur in the dust.
Him to avenge Pop-in-hole his spear irresistible thrust
Into the breast of Mud-son, who fell in death to the ground,
While from his lifeless trunk the spirit escaped through the wound.
Likewise fell Marsh-tenor, whom Nibble-roll pierced to the heart ;
But Bog-dandy, as soon as he saw that spirit depart,
Smote Pot-in-hole on the throat with a boulder mighty of size,
Smote, and severed the spine, so that darkness clouded his eyes.