« EelmineJätka »
Note here, that it as true as odd is, That in disguise a god or goddess Exerts no supernatural powers, But acts on maxims much like ours : They spied, at last, a country farm, Where all was snug, and clean, and warm; For woods before, and hills behind, Secured it both from rain and wind : Large oxen in the field were lowing, Good grain was sow'd, good fruit was growing ; Of last year's corn in barns great store; Fat turkeys gobbling at the door; And Wealth, in short, with Peace consented, That people here should live contented; But did they in effect do so ? Have patience, friend, and thou shalt know.
The honest farmer and his wife,
To years declined from prime of life,
Had struggled with the marriage noose,
As almost every couple does :
Sometimes. My plague!' sometimes 'My darling!
Kissing to-day, to-morrow snarling ;
Jointly submitting to endure
That evil which admits no cure.
Our gods the outward gate unbarr’d;
Our farmer met them in the yard;
Thought they were folks that lost their way,
And ask'd them civilly to stay;
Told them, for supper, or for bed,
They might go on and be worse sped.-
So said, so done; the gods consent ;
All three into the parlour went:
They compliment, they sit, they chat,
Fight o'er the wars, reform the state;
A thousand knotty points they clear,
Till supper and my wife appear.
Jove made his leg, and kiss'd the dame;
Obsequious Hermes did the same.
Jove kiss'd the farmer's wife, you say!
He did—but in an honest way:
Oh! not with half that warmth and life
With which he kiss'd Amphitryon's wife.--
Well, then, things handsomely were served ;
My mistress for the strangers carved.
How strong the beer, how good the meat,
How loud they laugh’d, how much they eat,
In epic sumptuous would appear,
Yet shall be pass'd in silence here;
For I should grieve to have it said
That, by a fine description led,
I made my episode too long,
Or tired my friend, to grace my song.
The grace-cup served, the cloth away,
Jove thought it time to show his play:
• Landlord and landlady, (he cried)
Folly and jesting laid aside,
That ye thus hospitably live,
And strangers with good cheer receive,
Is mighty grateful to your betters,
And make e'en gods themselves your
To give this thesis plainer proof,
You have to-night beneath your roof
A pair of gods : (nay, never wonder)
This youth can fly, and I can thunder.
I'm Jupiter, and he Mercurius,
My page, my son, indeed, but spurious.
Form then three wishes, you and Madam,
And, sure as you already had them,
The things desired, in half an hour,
Shall all be here, and in your power.'
• Thank ye, great gods, (the woman says) Oh! may your altars ever blaze! A Ladle for our silver dish Is what I want, is what I wish.'— • A Ladle! (cries the man) a Ladle ! 'Odzooks, Corisca, you have pray'd ill! What should be great you turn to farce, I wish the Ladle in your a“,
With equal grief and shame my Muse
The sequel of the Tale pursues :
The Ladle fell into the room,
And stuck in old Corisca's bum.
Our couple weep two wishes past,
And kindly join to form the last;
To ease the woman's awkward pain,
And get the Ladle out again. .
This commoner has worth and parts,
Is praised for arms, or loved for arts;
His head aches for a coronet,
And who is bless’d that is not great?
Some sense, and more estate, kind Heaven
To this well-lotted peer has given:
What then? he must have rule and sway,
And all is wrong till he's in play.
The miser must make up his plum,
And dares not touch the hoarded sum ;
The sickly dotard wants a wife,
To draw off his last dregs of life.
Against our peace we arm our will;
Amidst our plenty something still
For horses, houses, pictures, planting,
To thee, to me, to him, is wanting :
That cruel something unpossess'd,
Corrodes and leavens all the rest :
That something, if we could obtain,
Would soon create a future pain ;
And to the coffin, from the cradle,
'Tis all a wish, and all a Ladle.
Once on a time, in sunshine weather,
Falsehood and Truth walk'd out together,
The neighbouring woods and lawns to view,
As opposites will sometimes do:
Through many a blooming mead they pass'd,
And at a brook arrived at last :
The purling stream, the margin green,
With flowers bedeck’d, a vernal scene,
Invited each intinerant maid
To rest a while beneath the shade ;
Under a spreading beach they sat,
And pass'd the time with female chat;
Whilst each her character maintain’d,
One spoke her thoughts, the other feign'd.
At length, quoth Falsehood, Sister Truth,
(For so she calld her from her youth)
What if, to shun yon sultry beam,
We bathe in this delightful stream,
The bottom smooth, the water clear,
And there's no prying shepherd near ?'.
· With all my heart, the nymph replied,
And threw her snowy robes aside,
Stripp'd herself naked to the skin,
And with a spring leap'd headlong in.
Falsehood more leisurely undress'd,
And laying by her tawdry vest,
Trick'd herself out in Truth's
array, And cross the meadows tripp'd away.
From this cursed hour, the fraudful dame Of sacred Truth
And with a vile perfidious mind,
Roams far and near, to cheat mankind;
False sighs suborns, and artful tears,
And starts with vain pretended fears ;
In visits, still appears most wise,
And rolls at church her saint-like
Talks very much, plays idle tricks,
While rising stock' her conscience pricks;
When being, poor thing, extremely gravellid,
She secrets ope’d, and all unravell’d.
But on she will, and secrets tell
Of John and Joan, of Ned and Nell ;
Reviling every one she knows,
As fancy leads, beneath the rose.
Her tongue so voluble and kind,
It always runs before her mind;
As times do serve she slily pleads,
And copious tears still show her needs,
With promises as thick as weeds :
Speaks pro and con, is wondrous civil,
To-day a saint, to-morrow devil.
Poor Truth she stripp'd, as has been said, And naked left the lovely maid,
Alluding to the South Sea bubble, in 1720.