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And strole about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen’d on a winter night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the stroller's canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Try'd ev'ry tone might pity win;
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wand'ring faints in weeful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through all the village país'd,
To a small cottage came at last ;
Where dwelt a good old honeft ye’man,
Call’d 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 Aitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fatteft side
Cut out large slices to be fry’d;
Then ftepp'd afide to fetch 'em drink,
Fill’d a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found
'Twas still replenish'd to the top,
As if they had not touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz'd,
And often on each other gaz’d;
For both were frighten’d to the heart,
And just began to cry,-What ar't!
Then fostly turn'd aside to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, foon aware on't,
Told them their calling, and their errant;
Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints, the hermits faid;
No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilft you shall fee your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.
Then o'er the bounding billows shall we fly;
Secure to live together, or to die.
These reasons mov'd her starlike husband's heart,
But still he held his purpose to depart:
For as he lov'd her equal to his life,
He would not to the feas expose his wife;
Nor could be wrought his voyage to refrain,
But fought by arguments to footh her pain :
Nor these avail'd; at length he lights on one,
With which so difficult a cause he won :
My love, so short an absence cease to fear,
For by my father's holy flame I swear,
Before two moons their orb with light adorn,
If heav'n allow me life, I will return.
This promise of fo short a stay prevails;
He foon equips the ship, fupplies the fails,
And gives the word to launch; she trembling views
pomp of death, and parting tears renews :
Last with a kiss she took a long farewel,
Sigh'd with a fad presage, and swooning fell :
While Ceyx seeks delays, the lusty crew,
Rais'd on their banks, their oars in order drew
To their broad breasts, the ship with fury flew.
The queen recover'd, rears her humid eyes,
And first her hufband on the poop espies,
Shaking his hand at distance on the main ;
She took the fign, and shook her hand again.
Still as the ground recedes, contracts her view
With sharpen'd fight, 'till the no longer knew
The much lov'd face; that comfort lost supplies
With less, and with the galley feeds her eyes:
The galley borne from view by rising gales,
She follow'd with her sight the flying sails :
When ev’n the flying fails were feen no more,
Forsaken of all fight the left the shore.
Then on her bridal bed her body throws,
And fought in sleep her wearied eyes to close :
Her husband's pillow, and the widow'd part
Which once he press'd, renew'd the former smart.
And now a breeze from shore began to blow,
The failors ship their oars, and cease to row ;
Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their fails
Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales :
By this the vessel half her course had run;
And as much rested 'till the rising fun ;
Both shores were lost to fight, when at the close
Of day a stiffer gale at East arose :
The sea grew white, the rolling waves from far,
Like heralds, first denounce the watry war.
This seen, the master soon began to cry,
Strike, strike the top-sail; let the main-sheet fly,
And furl your fails: the winds repel the found,
And in the speaker's mouth the speech is drown’d.
Yet of their own accord, as danger taught
Each in his way, officiously they wrought:
Some stow their oars, or stop the leaky fides,
Another bolder yet the yard bestrides,
And folds the fails; a fourth with labour laves
Th’intruding seas, and waves ejects on waves.
In this confusion while their work they ply,
The winds augment the winter of the sky,
And wage intestine wars; the suff'ring seas
Are tofs’d, and mingled, as their tyrants please.
The master would command, but in defpair
Of safety, stands amaz’d with stupid care ;
Nor what to bid, or what forbid he knows,
Th’ungovern'd tempest to such fury grows :
Vain is his force, and vainer is his kill;
With such a concourse comes the flood of ill;
The cries of men are mix'd with rattling fhrowds;
Seas dash on seas, and clouds encounter clouds :
At once from East to West, from pole to pole,
The forky lightnings flash, the roaring thunders roll.
Now waves on waves ascending scale the skies,
And in the fires above the water fries :
When yellow sands are fifted from below,
The glittering billows give a golden show :
And when the fouler bottom spews the black,
The Stygian dye the tainted waters take :
Then frothy white appear the fatted seas,
And change their colour, changing their disease,
Like various fits the Trachin vefsel finds :
And now sublime, she rides
the winds; As from a lofty fummit looks from high, And from the clouds beholds the nether sky;