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Having through all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last!
Where dwelt a good old honest ye’man,
Callid in the neighbourhood Philemon ;
Who kindly did these faints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable fire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire';
While he from out the chimney took
A fitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest fide
Cut out large slices to be fry’d;
Then stepp'd afide to fetch them drink,
Fill’d a large jug up to the brink,
30 And saw it fairly twice go round; Yet (what is wonderful!) they found, 'Twas still replenish'd to the top, As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop. "The good old couple were amaz’d,
35 And often on each other gaz'd ; For both were frighten’d to the heart, And just began to cry,
What art! Then softly turn'd aside to view Whether the lights were burning blue. 40 The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't, Told them their calling, and their errand : Good folks, you need not be afraid, We are but saints, the hermits said ; No hurt shall come to you or yours :
45 But for that pack of churlish boors, VOL. I.
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilst you fhall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.
They scarce had spoke,' when fair and soft
The roof began to mount aloft ;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter ;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widend, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten'd to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below :
In vain ; for a superior force
Apply'd at bottom stops its course:
Doom'd ever in suspence to dwell,
"Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Loft by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion Nower.
The flier, though ’t had leaden feet,
Turn'd round so quick, you scarce could
But, llacken’d by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near ally'd,
Had never left each other's Gde :
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adher'd;
And still its love to houshold-cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roast-meat, which it cannot turn.
The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall ;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show, go
To a less noble substance chang'd,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.
The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Moll,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improv'd in picture, fize, and letter;
And, high in order plac'd, describe
The heraldry of every tribe *.
A bedstead of the antique mode, Compact of timber many a load, Such as our ancestors did use, Was metamorphos'd into pews ; * The tribes of Israel are sometimes distinguished in country churches by the enligns given to them by Jacob.
Which still their ancient nature keep,
By lodging folks dispos’d to sleep.
The cottage by such feats as thesc
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desir'd their host
To ask for what he fancy'd most.
Philemon, having paus'd a while,
Return’d them thanks in homely style ;
Then said, My house is grown so fine,
Methinks, I still would call it mine,
I'm old, and fain would live at ease;
Make me the parson, if you please.
He spoke, and presently he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels :
He fees, yet hardly can believe,
About each arm a pudding-sleeve;
His waistcoat to a callock grew,
And both aflum'd a sable hue ;
But, being old, continued just
As thread-bare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He smok'd his pipe, and read the news ; .
Knew how to preach old fermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text ;
At christenings well could act his
And had the fervice all by heart;
Wish'd women might have children fast,
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last;
Against difsenters would repine,
And stood up firm for right divine ;
Found his head fill’d with many a system : 135
But classic authors, he ne'er miss'd 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of home-spun coifs, were feen
Good pinners edg’d with colberteen ;
14 Her petticoat, transform'd apace, Became black fattin flounc'd with lace. Plain Goody would no longer down, 'Twas Madam, in her grogram-gown. Philemon was in great surprize,
145 And hardly could believe his eyes, Amaz'd to see her look so prim; And the admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life Were several years this man and wife : 15 When on a day, which prov'd their last, Discourfing o'er old stories past, They went by chance, amidst their talk, To the church-yard to take a walk; When Baucis hastily cry'd out, My dear, I see your forehead sprout ! Sprout ! quoth the man; what 's this you tell us ? I hope you don't believe me jealous ! But yet, inethinks, I feel it true; And really yours is budding too
now I cannot stir my fuot ; It feels as if 'twere taking root.
Description would but tire
In short, they both were turn’d to yews.