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This last petition heard of all her pray'r,
The rest, dispers’d by winds, were lost in air.
But she, the goddess of the nuptial bed,
Tir'd with her vain devotions for the dead,
Resolv'd the tainted hand should be repell’d,
Which incense offer'd, and her altar held :
Then Iris thus bespoke : thou faithful maid,
By whom thy queen's commands are well convey'd,
Haste to the house of sleep, and bid the God
Who rules the night by visions with a nod,
Prepare a dream, in figure, and in form
Resembling him who perifh'd in the storm:
This form before Alcyonè present,
To make her certain of the fad event.
Indu'd with robes of various hue she flies, And flying draws an arch, (a segment of the skies :) Then leaves her bending bow, and from the steep Descends, to search the filent house of fleep.
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 pass’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 stepp'd aside 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 see 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,