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CHAPTER XI.: THE DEFIANCE. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Goethe’s Works, vol. 3 (Goetz von Berlichingen, Iphigenia in Tauris, Tarquato Tasso, etc) 
Goethe’s Works, illustrated by the best German artists, 5 vols. (Philadelphia: G. Barrie, 1885). Vol. 3.
Part of: Goethe’s Works, 5 vols.
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THUS Isegrim, the Wolf, commenced his plaint;
Though words would fail his mighty rage to paint;
“My liege, this Reynard is a scoundrel still,
He ever has been one, and ever will.
And there he stands, and dares my wrath defy,
Sland’ring myself and all my family.
My black beast has he ever been through life!
What endless evils has he wrought my wife!
He once contrived the poor thing to persuade
Into a mill-pond through a bog to wade.
He promised she should gratify her wish,
And catch that day a multitude of fish;
She’d but to slip her tail into the pond,
And leave it hanging close upon the ground;
Fast would the fishes fix; she’d soon take more
Than three besides herself could well devour.
Partly she waded on, and partly swam,
Till to the sluice she got beneath the dam:
There, where the waters stood most still and deep,
Should she her tail drop down, and quiet keep.
Tow’rds ev’ning-tide there came a nipping breeze,
And bitterly did it begin to freeze;
She had not borne it long; but, in a trice,
Her tail was fairly frozen in the ice.
She thought ’twas owing to the fishes’ weight
She could not move it, and that all was right.
Reynard perceived her case,—the reprobate!—
And then—but what he did I dare not state—
He shall not now escape me, by mine oath!
That outrage costs the life of one or both!
Prate as he will, he’ll not impose on me;
Nor shall his lying tongue now set him free!
I caught him in the very act, I say—
It was the merest chance I passed that way—
I heard her cry, the poor deluded one!
Fast was she fixed there, and defence had none.
I came, and with my own eyes saw a sight—
O heav’ns! why did my heart not break outright?
‘Reynard! what art thou doing there?’ I cried;
He heard me, and away the coward hied.
I hastened to the spot in grief and wrath,
Slipping and slith’ring on the glassy path.
Ne’er had I greater trouble in my life,
Than then, to break the ice and free my wife.
But my best efforts did not quite avail;
She was obliged, poor soul! to tug and hale;
And left behind a fourth part of her tail.
Loudly she howled, and long; some peasants near
Her cries of bitter anguish chanced to hear.
They hurried thither, and soon spied us out,
And to each other ’gan to bawl and shout;
Across the narrow dam in haste they swarmed,
With spades and mattocks, pikes and axes armed;
The womankind with spindles; how they screamed and stormed!
‘Catch them and kill them! curse them!’ one and all
Thus to each other did they loudly call.
Such deep alarm I never felt before,
Nor my poor Gieremund, till that sad hour.
We saved our lives, though with the greatest pain,
And had to run till our hides smoked again.
There was one fellow,—curses on his soul!
Armed with a long and iron-headed pole,
Who, light of foot, kept foll’wing in our track,
Forever poking at my sides and back.
Had not the night approached with friendly gloom,
We from that spot alive had never come.
And what a hubbub did the women keep!
Swearing, the hags! we had devoured their Sheep.
As they were armed with neither pikes nor prongs,
They tried to wound us with their spiteful tongues.
We tow’rds the water took our course again,
And crept among the sedges in the fen.
The hinds dared not in this pursuit embark,
For luckily it now had grown pitch dark;
So they returned, sore disappointed, home;
And thus we just escaped our threatened doom.
“You see, my liege, how grave was this offence;
A mesh of treachery and violence.
Such crimes your love of justice must condemn;
For none are safe unless you punish them.”
The king heard this complaint with patient ear;
Then said, “Be sure you shall have justice here;
Her rights are ever sacred, come what may:
But we will hear what Reynard has to say.”
The Fox replied: “If true this tale were found,
Much to my credit would it not redound;
The charge is grave; but gracious Heav’n forbid,
I e’er should act as Is’grim says I did.
All I have done was at his wife’s own wish:
I don’t deny I taught her to take fish;
I told her where they would abound, and show’d
How she might get there by the nearest road.
But soon as ever of the fish I spoke,
With greedy haste away from me she broke;
Without reflection hurried to the spot,
And all my rules and cautions quite forgot.
Then if she happened to get frozen in,
From sitting there so long it must have been;
Had she but pulled her tail more quickly out,
She’d have got fish enough, I make no doubt.
But gluttony, a vice to be abhorr’d,
Like virtue, often brings its own reward.
The heart that never will be satisfied
Must needs oft prove a drear and aching void.
Whoso the spirit hath of greediness
Will lead a life of trouble and distress;
Him nothing satisfies: this, Gieremund,
When frozen in, by sad experience found.
“And thus it is my trouble is repaid!
Thus am I thanked for all my honest aid!
I shoved and strove my best to set her free;
But much too heavy for my strength was she.
While in this charitable act engaged,
Came Isegrim, and furiously he raged;
He had, it seems, been prowling round the shore;
And there he stood, and fiercely cursed and swore;
I never heard such rude and savage tones;
They made my flesh quite creep upon my bones;
Once, twice and thrice at my poor head he hurl’d
The wildest execrations in the world.
Thinks I then to myself, ‘It seems to me
My safest course at once to fly will be;
For it were better sure to run away
Than to this jealous madman fall a prey.
And well it was I fled, or, by my faith!
Beyond a doubt I had been torn to death.
When two Dogs fight together o’er a bone,
The victory can but remain to one.
I thought it therefore far the safer course
To flee his anger and his brutal force.
For that he is a brute he can’t deny;
Ask his own wife; she knows as well as I;
Ask her, and she no doubt will answer true.
With him, the liar! what have I to do?
“When he perceived his wife in such a plight,
No doubt he went to help her; well he might.
If by the peasant rabble they were press’d,
I guess it happened really for the best;
It cannot but have done the she-Wolf good,
Have stirred her sinews, and have thawed her blood.
’Tis truly infamous, upon my life,
To hear him now so scandalize his wife.
But ask herself; think ye, if truth he spoke,
She would not vengeance on my head invoke.
“Meanwhile a week’s imparlance will I crave,
Means to consult my friends that I may have;
And see what answer it were best to frame,
To meet the Wolf’s absurd and groundless claim.”
“Nothing but rogu’ry,” answered Gieremund,
“In all you say and do is ever found;
Tricks, treasons, treach’ry, stratagems and lies,—
Falsehood, in short, in ev’ry shape and guise.
Who trusts your glossing and deceitful tongue,
For his credulity will suffer long.
This no one better than myself can tell;
Witness what happened lately at the well.
“Two buckets there were hanging; you in one—
Wherefore I knew not—had yourself let down;
And nohow able to get up again,
Of your position loudly did complain.
At morning to the spot I chanced repair,
And asked you what you could be doing there;
You answered, ‘Cousin dear, come down here too;
There’s no good luck I would not share with you.
Get in the bucket and descend with speed;
Of fish I promise you a glorious feed.’
“It was some demon led me, sure, that way,
And made me credit what you pleased to say;
I to your oaths should ne’er have trusted more;
Well do I recollect what oaths you swore:
Not only that of fish you’d had your fill,
But you had even ate till you were ill.
My sympathy my judgment over-ruled;—
Ass that I was to let myself be fooled!
“Into the bucket did I thoughtless get;
And down it went; the other mounting straight;
And we about midway together met.
Astonished and alarmed, I called to you:
‘In Heaven’s name, where am I going to?’
‘Here we go up and down!’ you answered thus;
‘So goes it in the world, and so with us.
Nor let it be a subject of surprise;
By our own merits we must fall or rise.’
Safe mounted, on the edge you lightly stepp’d
Out of your bucket, and away you leapt;
While at the bottom of the well I lay,
In sad distress of mind, the livelong day,
And suffered endless blows before I got away.
“Some boors came to the well at eventide,
Nor was it long before poor me they spied;
Piteous indeed was my unhappy state,
As, cold and wet and hungry, there I sate.
Then to each other said the boors: ‘Hallo!
See! in yon bucket sits our ancient foe!
The thief, from whom we nothing safe can keep;
Who eats our Kidlings and devours our Sheep!’
‘Just pull him up!’ said one; ‘I’ll wait for him;
And he shall catch it, when he reach the brim.’
‘He for our Sheep shall pay!’ another said:—
I think the debts of all my tribe I paid.
Blows upon blows fell on me, thick and fast;
A sadder hour than that I never past;
I deemed each moment must have been my last.”
Then Reynard answered: “If you but reflect,
Those blows, you’ll own, had all a good effect.
For mine own part, I honestly admit
They’d not have suited with my taste a bit;
And as the matter stood, you see quite well.
For both to ’scape had not been possible.
To censure me is anything but just:
In such a case you’ll ne’er another trust:
A lesson for the future let it be;—
The world you know is full of roguery.”
“Now,” said the Wolf, “what need of further proof?
From this vile traitor have I borne enough.
Of yet another outrage I complain;
The marks whereof I even still retain.
Through him I got into the worst of scrapes,
In Saxony among a brood of Apes.
Induced by him I went into the lair;
He knew what mischief I should meet with there.
Had I not fled with timely haste away,
Both eyes and ears I should have lost that day.
But with his lying tongue he told me first—
Ah! be that lying tongue forever curst!—
That I should find his lady aunt within:
Dame Ruckenaw I fancied he must mean.
Of me he wished, I doubt not, to be rid,
And grieved I got away, e’en as I did.
He sent me down, the sly and juggling elf!
Into that horrid nest;—I thought ’twas hell itself.”
Reynard replied before th’ assembled lords,
Malicious meaning lurking in his words:
“To pity Isegrim I’m half inclin’d;
I doubt if he is in his perfect mind.
If this adventure he desire to tell,
To state it truly would be just as well.
“About three years ago, to Saxony,
With a vast store of booty, travelled he;
I followed; so far truth I recognize
In what he states; the rest’s a pack of lies.
And those whose cruelty he now bemoans,
They were not Apes at all, but just Baboons.
With them no kinship have I ever claimed;
Of such alliance I should feel ashamed.
Martin the Ape, and Ruckenaw his spouse,
They are my kin, as ev’rybody knows;
I honor him as uncle, her as aunt;
Of their affinity I well may vaunt:
He is a notary, well versed in law,
Can sign his name, and protests deftly draw.
In what of those vile creatures Is’grim spoke,
Your scorn at my expense he would provoke.
Relationship with them I quite repel;
For they are like the very fiends of hell.
If I then called the old hag ‘Aunt,’ ’twas done
For prudent reasons to myself best known:
I nothing lost thereby, I fairly own.
Her honored guest, I sumptuously fared;
Or else she might have choked, for aught I cared.
“You see, my lords, Sir Isegrim and I
Left the high road and passed a mountain by.
A cavern in the rear we chanced to mark,
Deep it appeared, and long, and wondrous dark.
My friend complained, as usual, of a sinking;—
He’s got a Wolf inside him, to my thinking;
For let him eat as much as e’er he will,
Who ever heard him own he’d had his fill?—
I said to him: ‘The inmates of this cave
Will certainly good store of victuals have;
I make no doubt they’ll let us have a share;
Most seasonable is our coming here.’
But Isegrim replied, ‘Go in and see;
I’ll wait for you meanwhile beneath this tree.
Your social talents no one can deny;
You make acquaintance easier far than I.
Go in, good coz; I’m sure you’ll be so good
To call me, if you meet with any food.’
He wanted me to face the danger first;
It being more, the dastard! than he durst.
“I entered; nor without a shudd’ring dread
Did I the long and sinuous passage thread;
And what I saw—oh! not for worlds of gold,
Would I again that awful sight behold!—
A nest of ugly monsters, great and small,
And their Dam with them, ugliest of them all.
With long black teeth bristled her frightful jaws,
Her hands and feet with long and crooked claws,
A long and hairy tail behind she bore;
Such a grim wretch I never saw before!
Her swart, gaunt children had the strangest shapes,
And looked, for all the world, like goblin Apes.
She gazed upon me with an evil eye;
‘Would I were safe out of this house!’ thought I.
Than Isegrim she was a bigger beast;
Some of her young too were as big, at least.
This horrible and hideous brood I found
Bedded on rotten hay on the dank ground,
With filth all slobbered o’er. There oozed a smell
On ev’ry side them, as from pitch of hell.
The honest truth to speak, for I’ll not lie,
I felt small pleasure in their company;
They were so many, and alone was I.
With mine own bosom then I counsel sought,
How from this cursed place I might get out.
I greeted them with many a friendly word;
Although such a deceit my soul abhorr’d;
But thought it just as prudent to be civil;—
E’en as I would be to the very devil.
I called the old one, ‘Aunt;’ the young ones, ‘Cousins,’
And gave them tender epithets by dozens.
‘May gracious Heaven grant you lengthened days!’
Thus I began; ‘and prosper all your ways!
Are these your children? But I need not ask;
Their likeness it were difficult to mask.
I vow my very soul with joy it cheers,
To see them look so well, the little dears!
So fresh and nice do you contrive to make ’em,
Strangers might for the royal children take ’em.
And grateful am I, as I ought to be,
That you should thus augment our family,
And graft such worthy scions on our tree.
Who has such kinsfolk is most blest indeed;
For they may aid him in the hour of need.’
As thus lip-honor forth to her I dealt,
Far different, in truth, from what I felt,
She, on her side, of me made much ado;
Was very civil; called me ‘Nephew,’ too;
Although the old fool knew, as well as I,
She bore no kinship to my family.
I thought, to call her ‘Aunt,’ was no great crime;
Albeit with fear I sweated all the time.
With kindliest words by her was I address’d:
‘Reynard, dear kinsman! welcome, as my guest!
‘’Tis very good of you, that I will say,
To drop in on us in this friendly way.
From your instructions shall my children gain
The skill how they to honor may attain.’
Her courtesy thus did I cheaply earn;
A trifling sacrifice just served my turn;
Claiming her kin, though she was so uncouth,
And holding back some disagreeable truth.
Most gladly would I then have gone away;
But she entreated me that I would stay;
‘So short a visit surely you’ll not make;
At least some slight refreshment you will take;’
And saying thus, she brought me heaps of food.
More than I might describe, all fresh and good;
Fish, ven’son, wild-fowl, and all sorts of game;—
Much did I wonder whence the deuce it came.
Of all these to my heart’s content I ate,
And heartily enjoyed the bounteous treat.
And even when I’d had my utmost fill,
She kept on urging me to take more still;—
For some there are so over-hospitable,
Would force their guests eat more than they are able.—
A joint of fine buck ven’son then brought she
A present for my wife and family.
I thanked her, as behoved me, for her cheer;
She was all gracious; called me ‘Cousin dear;’
And said, ‘I hope to see you often here.’
I promised all she asked; indeed I would
Have promised anything, as matters stood.
“At length I managed to get safely off,
Without an accident, and pleased enough;
For nothing found I there, you may suppose,
Either to gratify the eyes or nose.
Through the dark gall’ries did I swiftly flee,
And hastened to the op’ning by the tree:
There on the greensward Isegrim still lay,
Sighing and groaning in a grievous way.
‘How fares it with you, uncle mine?’ I cried;
‘Ah! nearly dead with hunger;’ he replied.
I pitied him, and just his life to save,
The meat I brought to him I freely gave.
He ate it up with grateful gluttony;
Though now he has forgotten all, you see.
His meal concluded, he desired to know,
Who were the dwellers in the cave below:
‘What sort of folk are they down there?’ he said;
‘And was your entertainment good or bad?’
I told him just the pure and naked truth;
The nest was vile, the inmates most uncouth;
In manners wild, uncourteous and rough;
To make amends though there was food enough:
And if he wished himself to have a share,
He’d naught to do but enter boldly there;
Only he must be mindful truth to spare.
‘Though falsehood is almost the worst of crimes,
Truth is not to be spoken at all times.’
This I repeated to him o’er and o’er,
And added sev’ral sage instructions more:
‘He who unwisely swaggering about truth,
Has it forever wobbling in his mouth,
Is sure to meet with endless grief and woe,
And persecution wheresoe’er he go;
Others caressed and prosp’rous shall he find;
While he in ev’ry place will lag behind.’
I fully warned him what he might expect,
If he these warnings madly should neglect:
‘He who but speaks what others like to hear
Is sure to be respected far and near.’
“These are the very words, sire, that I spake,
Both for his guidance, and my conscience’ sake:
But if he chose to act quite contrary
And suffer’d for it, who to blame but he?
His locks with age are grizzled, but ’tis plain
One seeks for judgment under them in vain.
Such stupid brutes on bluntness lay a stress,
And disregard all prudence and finesse;
And, groping underground with mole-like eyes,
Affect the light of wisdom to despise.
The sole advice I pressed on him, forsooth,
Was not to be too spendthrift of the truth:
He rudely answered, ‘I should think I know
How to behave, at least as well as you.’
Into the cave then did he boldly trot;
And you shall hear what welcome there he got.
“He finds the frightful Dam within her lair,
Like some old dotard devil crouching there:
The young ones too! With terror and surprise,
‘Help! help! what hideous Beasts!’ he wildly cries;
‘Are these your offspring, pray? Faugh! how they smell!
Worse than the slime-engendered spawn of hell!
Take them and drown them!—that is all they’re worth;—
Lest the unclean brood overrun the earth!
An they were mine, I’d have them throttled straight;
To catch young devils they might serve as bait;
One need but take them down to some bog’s edge,
And let them hang there, fastened to the sedge.
Bog-Apes indeed! it is a name that suits
Their nature well, the nasty, dirty brutes!’
The outraged mother answered with a shriek,
For haste and anger scarce would let her speak:
‘What devil sent this bouncing knave to us?
In my own house to be insulted thus!
The vulgar ruffian! My poor children too!
Ugly or handsome, what is that to you?
Reynard the Fox, with fifty times your sense,
A man of knowledge and experience,
Has only just now left us; he avow’d
My young were handsome, and their manners good;
Nay, e’en to call them cousins he was proud.
A short time back, and in this very place,
All this he stated frankly to my face.
If you they do not please, as they did him,
Remember you came here of your own whim;
Nobody asked you, Gaffer Isegrim!’
But he demanded food of her, and said:
‘Bring it at once, or I your search may aid;
I cannot stand your vanity to please.’—
With that he strove upon her store to seize.
Nor prudent was the thought, or wise the deed;
But little did he all my cautions heed.
Upon him, quick as thought, herself she threw,
And bit and scratched him, that the blood she drew.
Her children too were all as bad as she,
And tore and clawed and mauled him fearfully.
He did not dare return their blows again;
But howled and screamed in agony of pain.
He sought,—the only chance his life to save—
With hasty steps, the op’ning of the cave.
“I saw him come, with mangled cheeks and lips,
His torn hide hanging down in gory strips;
One ear was split and bloody was his nose;
He looked, in short, one wound from head to toes.
I asked, for his condition moved my ruth,
‘You surely have not gone and spoke the truth?’
But he replied: ‘I said just what I thought.—
Oh! to what sad disgrace have I been brought!
The ugly witch! Ah, would I had her here!
I’d make her pay for my dishonor, dear!
What think you, Reynard? Have you ever seen
So vile a brood; so nasty and obscene?
I told her so, and surely I did right;
But straight I lost all favor in her sight.
I came but badly off, upon my soul!
Would I had never seen the cursed hole!’
Then answered I, ‘You must be mad, I swear;
How widely diff’rent my instructions were:
“Your servant, dearest aunt,” you should have said,—
It never injures one to seem well-bred;—
“The world, I hope, goes ever well with you,
And your sweet darling little children too.
The joy I feel is more than I can tell
To see you looking all so nice and well.”—
But Isegrim impatiently broke in:
‘What! call that bitch my aunt! those cubs my kin!
The devil may make off with all the fry;
He their relationship may claim, not I!
Faugh! but they are a foul and filthy race!
Ne’er again may I meet them face to face!’
“Such were his actions, such was his reward;
Judge then if I betrayed him, good my lord.
He can’t deny that what I’ve said is true;
At least ’twill not much help him if he do.”
Then Isegrim replied with wrathful tongue,
His breast with sense of deep injustice wrung:
“What boots this idle war of angry words?
Can we decide our feud with woman’s swords?
Right still is right, whate’er the bad pretend!
And he who hath it, keeps it to the end.
Reynard now bears himself as vauntingly
As though the right were his; but we shall see.
“With me you shall do battle; thus alone
On which side truth is marshalled shall be known.
A pretty tale forsooth is this you tell
Of our adventure at the she-Ape’s cell;
That I was starving and was fed by you!
But in what manner gladly would I know:
For what you brought me was just naught but bone;
You best yourself know where the flesh was gone.
And there you boldly stand, and flout and jeer—
By Heav’n! but this doth touch mine honor near!
Suspicions vile your false and slanderous tongue
On my good name and loyalty hath flung;
That I, devoid of ’legiance and faith,
Had compassed and imagined my king’s death:
While you to him with idle fables prate
Of stores and treasures, at a shameless rate.
Treasures and stores, forsooth! to my poor mind,
Such wonders will be somewhat hard to find.
But what doth most my vengeful wrath arouse
Is the deep shame you’ve done my dearest spouse.
“For all these grievances, both old and new,
I will do battle to the death with you.
Here to your face do I proclaim you are
A traitor vile, a thief, a murderer;
And I will make it good, life against life;
And thus, and not by chiding, end our strife.
What I avouch, I am prepared to prove;
Whereof in token here I fling my glove;
Thus formally the battle do I wage;
Stoop then, if you have heart, and lift my gage.
My sov’reign liege and all th’ assembled lords
Have heard and know the import of my words;
They will assist this trial of the right,
As witnesses of our judicial fight.
But you shall not escape me anyhow,
Until our feud is settled; that I vow!”
Then with himself did Reynard counsel take:
“Fortune and life are now indeed at stake:
For big and strong is he; I, weak and small;
’Twere sad if ill mine efforts now befall;
Vain then were all my cunning and my skill;
Yet will I hope a good conclusion still.
Of some advantage I may fairly boast;
Since his fore-claws he hath but lately lost:
And, in the end, unless his passion cool,
He may perchance be foiled, presumptuous fool!”
Then to the Wolf he boldly thus spake out:
“I stuff the traitor’s name back down your throat!
Charge upon charge against me you devise,
But I denounce them all as groundless lies;
You offer battle now, and haply think
That from the trial I in fear may shrink;
But long I’ve wished this means my truth to prove;
The challenge I accept! Lo! here my glove!”
Then Noble, King of Beasts, agreed to hold
The gages proffered by these champions bold;
And said, “Bring forth your sureties now as bail
That at to-morrow’s fight you shall not fail.
Both sides I’ve heard, but understand no more—
Nay, less I may say—than I did before.”
As Is’grim’s sureties stood the Cat and Bear,
Tybalt and Brum; those for Reynard were
Graybeard and Monkie, Martin’s son and heir.
To Reynard then thus spake Dame Ruckenaw:
“Coolness and prudence now must be your law.
My husband, who is on his road to Rome,
Taught me a pray’r last time he was at home;
Good Abbot Gulpall did the same compose,
And gave it, as a favor, to my spouse.
He said it was a pray’r of wondrous might,
A saving spell for those about to fight:
He who, the morning, this should fasting hear,
Nor pain nor peril all that day need fear;
Vanquished he could not be by any foe,
Nor death nor wounds of any nature know.
This pray’r o’er you to-morrow will I say;
Then, nephew dear, be jocund for to-day.”
“Thanks, dearest aunt,” said Reynard, “for your care;
Deeply beholden am I for your pray’r;
But mostly do I trust, and ever will,
The justice of my cause, and mine own skill.”
All night his friends remained with him, and sought
With cheerful chat to scare each gloomy thought.
Dame Ruckenaw, more thoughtful than the rest,
Was ever busied how to serve him best.
From head to tail she had him closely sheared,
And then with fat and oil his body smeared;
He stood all smooth and sleek from top to toe,
That he no grip should offer to his foe.
Then thus she spake: “We must be circumspect,
And on all chances of the fight reflect.
Hearken to my advice: a friend in need,
Who gives good counsel, is a friend indeed.
To-night, whate’er you do, before you sleep,
Of light Liebfrauenmilch drink pottle-deep:
To-morrow, when you enter in the lists—
Attend me well, herein the point consists—
Wet well your brush—I need not tell you how—
Then fly upon your unsuspecting foe;
Lash at his face, and salve him right i’ th’ eye;
His smarting sight will darken instantly:
This cannot fail to cause him sore distress,
And in the combat profit you no less.
Next must you take to flight, as though in fear;
He will be sure to follow in your rear;
You will take heed to run against the wind,
While your swift feet kick up the dust behind;
So shall his lids be closed with sand and dirt;
Then on one side spring sudden and alert;
And while he stops his smarting eyes to wipe,
Upon them deal another stinging stripe;
Thus, blinded, at your mercy shall he be,
And yours the undisputed victory.
“Yourself to rest now, dearest nephew, lay;
We will be sure to wake you when ’tis day.
But first, as now the midnight hour is past,
Ere yet you slumber, and while still you fast,
Your heart to strengthen, should it chance be weak,
Those sacred words of pow’r I’ll o’er you speak.”
Then both her hands she placed upon his head,
And with a solemn voice these words she said:
“Tiw rof tfo sessap hsir’bbig gnidnuos-hgih!
Now ev’ry adverse charm you may dely.”
They laid him then to rest beneath a tree;
And there he slept both long and tranquilly.
Soon as the morning o’er the hill-tops brake,
The Beaver came his kinsman to awake;
With him the Otter; greeting kind they gave;
Bade him arise, and bear him bold and brave;
And laughing said, he had no need to shave.
The Otter brought with him a nice young Duck,
And, handing it to Reynard, thus he spoke:
“For this I’ve toiled while you were fast asleep;
And it hath cost me many a parlous leap;
I caught it at the mill near Huenerbrod;
Eat it, dear coz; and may it do you good!”
“Gra’mercy for the handsel!” Reynard said,
With cheerful heart as out he skipped from bed;
“So choice a present I would never slight;
I pray that Heav’n your kindness may requite.”
He ate and drank unto his heart’s content;
Then to the lists with all his friends he went;
Down to a sandy level near a field,
Where the appointed combat should be held.