The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 9: Mayhem in the Melee

In the last episode, Athena expressed her antipathy for frog and mouse alike. The gods (eagerly?) look on as blood spills on both sides

The thundering Olympian eye does not stray
From the toil and moil of the bloody melee
Fur flies on spear and lance
Fragile gills have little chance
As frog and mouse clash in a murderous fray.

“So [Athena] spoke and the other gods assented to her
as they all gathered together in one spot.
Then some gnats brought out great trumpets
to sound the dread song of war. And from heaven
Kronos’ son Zeus thundered the battle’s evil sign.

First, Croakmaster struck Man-licker with a spear
through his stomach mid-liver as he stood among the forefighters.
And he fell down and dirtied his delicate hair.
He thundered as he fell, and his arms clattered about him.
Hole-dweller next hurled at Muddy’s son
And fixed his stout spear in his chest. So black death took him
as he fell and his soul flew from his body.
Dish-pirate killed Beat-eater when he struck him in the heart
And after Bread-muncher struck Sir Croaks-a-lot in the stomach
he fell headlong and his soul flew from his limbs.
When Pond-lubber saw Sir Croaks-a-lot dying
He acted first and crushed Hole-dweller’s tender neck
With a rock like a mill-stone. And darkness covered his eyes.
Grief overtook Basilson and he drove him through with a sharp reed
And he didn’t raise his spear against him. When Manlicker saw this
He took aim at him with his own shining spear
And hurled it: he didn’t miss his liver. And when he noticed
That Spiceeater was fleeing, he rushed upon the lush banks.
He did not let up from battle, no he ran him through.
He fell and didn’t look up again: then the pond was dyed
With purple blood even as he was stretched out on the sand
As he tried to rise with his trailing intestines and loins.
Then he despoiled Cheese-nibbler on the same banks.
When Master-Reedy saw Ham-Carver he fled
And he was driven into the pond while rushing and after leaving his shield.
Water-grace killed king Ham-eater.
Blameless Mudbedder killed Poundweight
by striking him with a stone on the top of his head. His brains
Dribbled from his nose and the earth was spattered with blood.”

197 ῝Ως ἄρ’ ἔφη• καὶ τῇ γε θεοὶ ἐπεπείθοντ’ ἄλλοι,
198 πάντες δ’ αὖτ’ εἰσῆλθον ἀολλέες εἰς ἕνα χῶρον.
199 καὶ τότε κώνωπες μεγάλας σάλπιγγας ἔχοντες
200 δεινὸν ἐσάλπιγξαν πολέμου κτύπον• οὐρανόθεν δὲ
201 Ζεὺς Κρονίδης βρόντησε, τέρας πολέμοιο κακοῖο.
202 Πρῶτος δ’ ῾Υψιβόας Λειχήνορα οὔτασε δουρὶ
203 ἑσταότ’ ἐν προμάχοις κατὰ γαστέρα ἐς μέσον ἧπαρ•
204 κὰδ δ’ ἔπεσεν πρηνής, ἁπαλὰς δ’ ἐκόνισεν ἐθείρας.
205 δούπησεν δὲ πεσών, ἀράβησε δὲ τεύχε’ ἐπ’ αὐτῷ.
206 Τρωγλοδύτης δὲ μετ’ αὐτὸν ἀκόντισε Πηλείωνος,
207 πῆξεν δ’ ἐν στέρνῳ στιβαρὸν δόρυ• τὸν δὲ πεσόντα
208 εἷλε μέλας θάνατος, ψυχὴ δ’ ἐκ σώματος ἔπτη.
209 Σευτλαῖον δ’ ἂρ ἔπεφνε βαλὼν κέαρ ᾿Εμβασίχυτρος,
210 ᾿Αρτοφάγος δὲ Πολύφωνον κατὰ γαστέρα τύψε•
211 ἤριπε δὲ πρηνής, ψυχὴ δὲ μελέων ἐξέπτη.
212 Λιμνόχαρις δ’ ὡς εἶδεν ἀπολλύμενον Πολύφωνον,
213 Τρωγλοδύτην ἁπαλοῖο δι’ αὐχένος τρῶσεν ἐπιφθὰς
214 πέτρῳ μυλοειδέϊ• τὸν δὲ σκότος ὄσσε κάλυψε•
215 ᾿Ωκιμίδην δ’ ἄχος εἷλε καὶ ἤλασεν ὀξέϊ σχοίνῳ
216 οὐδ’ ἐξέσπασεν ἔγχος ἐναντίον• ὡς δ’ ἐνόησε
217 Λειχήνωρ δ’ αὐτοῖο τιτύσκετο δουρὶ φαεινῷ
218 καὶ βάλεν, οὐδ’ ἀφάμαρτε καθ’ ἧπαρ• ὡς δ’ ἐνόησε
219 Κοστοφάγον φεύγοντα βαθείαις ἔμπεσεν ὄχθαις.
220 ἀλλ’ οὐδ’ ὣς ἀπέληγε μάχης ἀλλ’ ἤλασεν αὐτόν•
221 κάππεσε δ’, οὐκ ἀνένευσεν, ἐβάπτετο δ’ αἵματι λίμνη
222 πορφυρέῳ, αὐτὸς δὲ παρ’ ἠιόν’ ἐξετανύσθη,
223 χορδῇσιν λιπαρῇσί τ’ ἐπορνύμενος λαγόνεσσιν.
224 Τυροφάγον δ’ αὐτῇσιν ἐπ’ ὄχθαις ἐξενάριξεν.
225 Πτερνογλύφον δὲ ἰδὼν Καλαμίνθιος ἐς φόβον ἦλθεν,
226 ἥλατο δ’ ἐς λίμνην φεύγων τὴν ἀσπίδα ῥίψας.
227 ῾Υδρόχαρις δ’ ἔπεφνεν Πτερνοφάγον βασιλῆα,
228 Λιτραῖον δ’ ἀρ’ ἔπεφνεν ἀμύμων Βορβοροκοίτης,
229 χερμαδίῳ πλήξας κατὰ βρέγματος• ἐγκέφαλος δὲ
230 ἐκ ῥινῶν ἔσταξε, παλάσσετο δ’ αἵματι γαῖα.

One thought on “The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 9: Mayhem in the Melee

  1. Pingback: The Battle of Frogs and Mice, Part 10: Carnage; Murine Aristeia; Gods Intervene | Sententiae Antiquae

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