48. “When royal Fergus’ line did rule this realm”

“Oh that I now could speak the Micean tongues
Or Frogian language, but I want such lungs
As he that writ the dismal bloody fights
Betwixt the Frogian and the Micean knights.”
ll. 13-16.

By permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library

Originally believed to have been written by Homer, several translations of the Batrachomyomachia, a mock epic depicting a battle between frogs and mice, were published in England during the first half of the seventeenth century. It is possible that in her reference to he “that writ the dismal bloody fights,” Pulter was thinking not of Homer but of John Ogilby (1600–76) who published his version of the tale in The Fables of Aesop Paraphrased (London, 1651), 11–18.

Alice Eardley