BETA

The Musical Frogs.


Some dozen or more years ago, while living at Liebenstein, a German hydropathic
establishment in Sachse-Meiningen, I took a stroll across the country on a hot
summer’s day, when coming near some low marshy ground I became aware of a
concert of soft musical notes, floating up gently from the pools of water among the
reeds. Never having heard anything of the kind before, I went close up to the brink
of the water, and soon found that the most sweet discourse came from a colony of
green frogs. Their music made such an impression on me, that on the way back to
my water-quarters I wrote some lines as a memorandum of the event, the same that
I now send, if they shall seem worthy, for insertion in the various pages of the ‘ Dark
Blue.’ Perhaps the verses, however small their poetical merit, may be fortunate
enough to bring out some batrachian commentary from learned naturalists, that
might prove both interesting and instructive to me and your readers. Are these
green boggy musicians to be found in any part of England ?  Scotland certainly
is too cold for them ; otherwise I should have met with them in my many
wanderings. J. S. B.
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !1
How sweet ye sing ! Would God that I2
Upon the bubbling pool might lie,3
And sun myself to-day4
With you !  No curtained bride, I ween,5
Nor pillowed babe, nor cushioned queen,6
Nor tiny fay on emerald green,7
Nor silken lady gay,8
Lies on a softer couch. O Heaven !9
How many a lofty mortal, riven10
By keen-fanged inflammation,11
Might change his lot with yours, to float12
On sunny pond with bright green coat,13
And sing with gently throbbing throat14
Amid the croaking nation,15
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !16
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !17
Happy the bard who weaves his rhyme18
Recumbent on the purple thyme,19
In the fragrant month of June ;20
Happy the sage, whose lofty mood21
Doth with far-searching ken intrude22
Into the vast infinitude23
Of things beyond the moon ;24
But happier not the wisest man25
Whose daring thought leads on the van26
Of star-eyed speculation,27
Than thou, quick-legged, light-bellied thing,28
Within the green pond’s reedy ring,29
That with a murmurous joy dost sing30
Among the croaking nation,31
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !32
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !33
Great Jove with dark clouds sweeps the sky,34
Where thunders roll and lightnings fly,35
And gusty winds are roaring ;36
Fierce Mars his stormy steed. bestrides,37
And, lashing wild its bleeding sides,38
O’er dead and dying madly rides,39
Where the iron hail is pouring.40
’Tis well ; such crash of mighty Powers41
Must be : the spell may not be ours42
To tame the hot creation.43
But little frogs with paddling foot44
Can sing when gods and kings dispute,45
And little bards can strum the lute46
Amid the croaking nation,47
With Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !48
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !49
Farewell ! not always I may sing50
Around the green pond’s reedy ring51
With you, ye boggy Muses !52
But I must go and do stern battle53
With lawless herds of human cattle,54
Whose eager lust of windy prattle55
The quiet rein refuses.56
O if !— but all such ifs are vain57
I’ll go and blow my trump again,58
With brazen iteration :59
And when, by Logic’s iron rule,60
I’ve quash’d each briskly babbling fool,61
I’ll seek again your gentle school,62
And hum beside the tuneful pool63
Amid the croaking nation,64
Brekekekex ! coax ! coax ! O happy happy frogs !65