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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1804.21
The Frogs and Crane
“J. H.”
The Anti-Gallican (1804), p. 236

Aesop,[1] strange fabulist! what tiny frog
    Dares leap the giant bulk; with lying prate
    Seduce the squalid multitude—elate
To crush distinction and contemn King Log?
Like lunatics, bid Stranger rule the bog;
    Themselves, allies, subscrib'd to anger sate—
Whose subjects, deaf, dumb, blind, sculk round in-cog.
Sees human sacrifices wait his word;
    Crippling, from Holland's dykes to Egypt's springs,
    Stadtholders, Pope, Electors, Beys and Kings;
Mocks half the globe, a self-created lord?
Why on such man her cap would Folly place,
With, "Hail, dread Emperor of the croaking race."


Notes

1. This poem refers to Aesop's fable in which the frogs, who lived quite pleasant lives, petitioned Jupiter for a king. Jupiter first sent them a log, but when the frogs petitioned for a different king, he sent a stork, which devoured the frogs. See also Jupiter and the Frogs (July 1808).

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Published @ RC

September 2004