Ascend my shoulders, firmly keep thy seat

" The King of the Frogs invites the King of the Mice to voyage on his Back"

Ascend my Shoulders, firmly keep thy Seat,
And reach my marshy Court, and feast in State.
He said, and leant his Back; with nimble Bound
Leaps the light Mouse, and clasps his Arms around,
Then wond'ring floats, and sees with glad Survey
The winding Banks dissemble Ports at Sea.
But when aloft the curling Water rides,
And wets with azure Wave his downy Sides,
His thoughts grow conscious of approaching Woe,
His idle Tears with vain Repentance flow,
His Locks he rends, his trembling Feet he rears,
Thick beats his Heart with unaccustom'd Fears;
He sighs, and chill'd with Danger, longs for Shore:
His Tail extended forms a fruitless Oar,
Half-drench'd in liquid Death his Pray'rs he spake,
And thus bemoan'd him from the dreadful Lake.
So pass'd Europa thro' the rapid Sea,
Trembling and fainting all the vent'rous Way;
With oary Feet the Bull triumphant rode,
And safe in Crete depos'd his lovely Load.
Ah safe at last! may thus the Frog support
My trembling Limbs to reach his ample Court.
As thus he sorrows, Death ambiguous grows,
Lo! from the deep a Water-Hydra rose;
He rolls his sanguin'd Eyes, his Bosom heaves,
And darts with active Rage along the Waves.
Confus'd, the Monarch sees his hissing Foe,
And dives to shun the sable Fates below.
Forgetful Frog! The Friend thy Shoulders bore,
Unskill'd in Swimming, floats remote from Shore.
He grasps with fruitless Hands to find Relief,
Supinely falls, and grinds his Teeth with Grief,
Plunging he sinks, and struggling mounts again,
And sinks, and strives, but strives with Fate in vain.
The weighty Moisture clogs his hairy Vest,
And thus the Prince his dying Rage exprest.
Nor thou, that flings me flound'ring from thy Back,
As from hard Rocks rebounds the shatt'ring Wrack,
Nor thou shalt 'scape thy Due, perfidious King!
Pursu'd by Vengeance on the swiftest Wing:
At Land thy Strength could never equal mine,
At Sea to conquer, and by Craft, was thine.
But Heav'n has Gods, and Gods have searching Eyes:
Ye Mice, ye Mice, ye great Avengers rise!
Author of original: 
Unknown, formerly at. to Homer
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.