The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 7: The Mice Arm and Frogs Respond

(For Part 6, go here)

When the Mice arm themselves for War
No Frog will fear their martial roar.
They make their battle plans,
And arm themselves to a ‘man’
To station their treacherous ambush on the shore.

“In saying this he persuaded everyone to arm themselves
And Ares who loves war armed them.
First they fit their greaves to their two legs
After breaking some pale beans and fitting them well,
beans they nibbled clean by working on them all night.
They had chest pieces made of reed-bound hides
which they made skillfully after flaying a weasel.
Their shield was the middle-section of a lamp. And their spear
Was a well-measured needle, a completely bronze work of Ares.
The helmet on their temples was the husk of chick pea.

And this is the way the mice were armed. When the frogs noticed
They rose up from the water: and once they gathered in same place
They summoned a council for wicked war.
While they were examining the conflict and noise,
A herald approached carrying a staff in his hand:
Bowl-diver [dish-diver], the son of great-hearted Cheese-borer
Announcing the evil report of war said these kind of things:

“The mice threaten you and send me
To tell you to arms yourselves for war and battle.
They know about Crumbthief whom your king
Bellowmouth killed in the water. But fight
All of you who were born best among the frogs.”
He explained it in way. The report once it entered everyone’s ears
disturbed the minds of the gathered frogs.
While they were reproaching, Bellowmouth stood and said.

“Friends, I didn’t kill the mouse, nor did I witness him dying.
He drowned because he was playing near the shore
Trying to mimic the swimming of frogs. These villains
Are blaming me when I am not at fault. But let us seek
a plan so that we may kill those treacherous mice.
I will announce the plan that seems best to me.
Let all of us stand after adorning ourselves in arms
On the top of the banks where the land is steep.
Whenever they come rushing against us
Once we have snatched them by their helmets as each approaches
We will throw them straight into the water with them.
As we drown those unaccustomed to the water in this way
We will happily dedicate a trophy to the murder of mice.”

122 Ταῦτ’ εἰπὼν ἀνέπεισε καθοπλίζεσθαι ἅπαντας.
123 καὶ τοὺς μέν ῥ’ ἐκόρυσσεν ῎Αρης πολέμοιο μεμηλώς•
124 κνημῖδας μὲν πρῶτον ἐφήρμοσαν εἰς δύο μηρούς,
125 ῥήξαντες κυάμους χλωρούς, εὖ δ’ ἀσκήσαντες,
126 οὓς αὐτοὶ διὰ νυκτὸς ἐπιστάντες κατέτρωξαν.
127 θώρηκας δ’ εἶχον καλαμοστεφέων ἀπὸ βυρσῶν,
128 οὓς γαλέην δείραντες ἐπισταμένως ἐποίησαν.
129 ἀσπὶς δ’ ἦν λύχνου τὸ μεσόμφαλον• ἡ δέ νυ λόγχη
130 εὐμήκης βελόνη, παγχάλκεον ἔργον ῎Αρηος•
131 ἡ δὲ κόρυς τὸ λέπυρον ἐπὶ κροτάφοις ἐρεβίνθου.
132 Οὕτω μὲν μύες ἦσαν ἔνοπλοι• ὡς δ’ ἐνόησαν
133 βάτραχοι ἐξανέδυσαν ἀφ’ ὕδατος, ἐς δ’ ἕνα χῶρον
134 ἐλθόντες βουλὴν ξύναγον πολέμοιο κακοῖο.
135 σκεπτομένων δ’ αὐτῶν πόθεν ἡ στάσις ἢ τίς ὁ θρύλλος,
136 κῆρυξ ἐγγύθεν ἦλθε φέρων ῥάβδον μετὰ χερσίν,
137 Τυρογλύφου υἱὸς μεγαλήτορος ᾿Εμβασίχυτρος,
138 ἀγγέλλων πολέμοιο κακὴν φάτιν, εἶπέ τε τοῖα•
139 ῏Ω βάτραχοι, μύες ὔμμιν ἀπειλήσαντες ἔπεμψαν
140 εἰπεῖν ὁπλίζεσθαι ἐπὶ πτόλεμόν τε μάχην τε.
141 εἶδον γὰρ καθ’ ὕδωρ Ψιχάρπαγα ὅν περ ἔπεφνεν
142 ὑμέτερος βασιλεὺς Φυσίγναθος. ἀλλὰ μάχεσθε
143 οἵ τινες ἐν βατράχοισιν ἀριστῆες γεγάατε.
144 ῝Ως εἰπὼν ἀπέφηνε• λόγος δ’ εἰς οὔατα πάντων
145 εἰσελθὼν ἐτάραξε φρένας βατράχων ἀγερώχων•
146 μεμφομένων δ’ αὐτῶν Φυσίγναθος εἶπεν ἀναστάς•
147 ῏Ω φίλοι οὐκ ἔκτεινον ἐγὼ μῦν, οὐδὲ κατεῖδον
148 ὀλλύμενον• πάντως δ’ ἐπνίγη παίζων παρὰ λίμνην,
149 νήξεις τὰς βατράχων μιμούμενος• οἱ δὲ κάκιστοι
150 νῦν ἐμὲ μέμφονται τὸν ἀναίτιον• ἀλλ’ ἄγε βουλὴν
151 ζητήσωμεν ὅπως δολίους μύας ἐξολέσωμεν.
152 τοιγὰρ ἐγὼν ἐρέω ὥς μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι ἄριστα.
153 σώματα κοσμήσαντες ἐν ὅπλοις στῶμεν ἅπαντες
154 ἄκροις πὰρ χείλεσσιν, ὅπου κατάκρημνος ὁ χῶρος•
155 ἡνίκα δ’ ὁρμηθέντες ἐφ’ ἡμέας ἐξέλθωσι,
156 δραξάμενοι κορύθων, ὅς τις σχεδὸν ἀντίος ἔλθῃ,
157 ἐς λίμνην αὐτοὺς σὺν ἐκείναις εὐθὺ βάλωμεν.
158 οὕτω γὰρ πνίξαντες ἐν ὕδασι τοὺς ἀκολύμβους
159 στήσομεν εὐθύμως τὸ μυοκτόνον ὧδε τρόπαιον.

2 responses

  1. Pingback: The Battle of Frogs and Mice, 8: Frogs Arm While Gods Debate | Sententiae Antiquae

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