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Having through all the village paft,
To a fmall cottage came at last!
Where dwelt a good old honeft yeʼman,
Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon;
Who kindly did these faints invite
In his poor hut to pafs the night;
And then the hofpitable fire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fatteft fide
Cut out large flices to be fry'd;
Then stepp'd afide to fetch them drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
And faw it fairly twice
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found,
"Twas ftill replenish'd to the top,
As if they ne'er had 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 foftly turn'd afide to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, foon aware on't,
Told them their calling, and their errand :
Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but faints, the hermits faid;
No hurt fhall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Chriftian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilft you fhall fee your cottage rife,
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher, Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoift,
And there ftood fasten'd to a joist,
But with the upfide down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a fuperior force
Apply'd at bottom stops its courfe :
Doom'd ever in fufpence to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Loft by disuse the art to roast,
A fudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new inteftine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion flower.
The flier, though 't had leaden feet,
Turn'd round fo quick, you scarce could see 't ;
But, flacken'd by fome fecret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near ally'd,
Had never left each other's fide:
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and ftill adher'd;
And ftill its love to houfhold-cares,
By a fhrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roaft-meat, which it cannot turn.
The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge fnail, 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 fhow,
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 Rofamond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now feem'd to look abundance better,
Improv'd in picture, fize, and letter;
And, high in order plac'd, defcribe
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 Ifrael are fometimes diftinguished in country churches by the enfigns given to them by Jacob.
Which still their ancient nature keep,
By lodging folks difpos'd to fleep.
The cottage by such feats as these
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then defir'd their hoft
To ask for what he fancy'd most.
Philemon, having paus'd a while,
Return'd them thanks in homely ftyle;
Then faid, My houfe is grown fo fine,
Methinks, I ftill would call it mine,
I'm old, and fain would live at ease;
Make me the parfon, if you please.
He fpoke, and prefently he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels:
He fees, yet hardly can believe,
About each arm a pudding-fleeve;
His waistcoat to a caflock grew,
And both affum'd a fable hue;
But, being old, continued juft
As thread-bare, and as full of duft. ·
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He fmok'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 part,
And had the fervice all by heart;
Wish'd women might have children fast,.
And thought whofe fow had farrow'd last; -
Against diffenters would repine,
And stood up firm for right divine ;
Found his head fill'd with many a system :
But claffic authors, he ne'er mifs'd 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parfon,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Inftead of home-fpun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen ;
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 furprize,
And hardly could believe his eyes,
Amaz'd to fee her look fo prim;
And the admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life
Were feveral years this man and wife :
When on a day, which prov'd their last,
Difcourfing o'er old stories paft,
They went by chance, amidft their talk,
To the church-yard to take a walk;
When Baucis haftily cry'd out,
My dear, I fee your forehead sprout!
Sprout! quoth the man; what 's this you tell us?
I hope you don't believe me jealous!
But yet, methinks, I feel it true;
And really yours is budding too -
Nay, - now I cannot stir my foot;
It feels as if 'twere taking root.
Defcription would but tire Mufe;
In fhort, they both were turn'd to yers.