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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 ftepp'd afide to fetch 'em drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
And faw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found
"Twas ftill 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 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 errant ;
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 houfes fhall be drown'd;
Whilft you fhall fee your cottage rife,
And grow a church before your eyes.
They fcarce had fpoke: when fair and foft
The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rofe ev'ry beam and rafter;
The heavy wall climb'd flowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a fteeple with a fpire.
The kettle to the top was hoift,
And there flood faften'd to a joist,
But with the upfide down, to how
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a fuperior force
Apply'd at bottom ftops its course:
Doom'd ever in fufpenfe to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Loft by difufe 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 flow'r.
The flyer, though 't had leaden feet,
Turn'd round fo quick, you fcarce could fee't;
But, flacken'd by fome fecret pow'r,
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 fteeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still 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 glittʼring show,
To a lefs noble substance chang'd,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.
The ballads pafted 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 ev'ry tribe..
A bedftead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews;
Which fill their ancient nature keep
By lodging folks difpos'd to fleep.
The cottage by fuch feats as thefe
Grown to a church by juft degrees,
The hermits then defir'd their hoft
To ask for what he fancy'd moft.
Philemon, having paus'd a while,
Return'd 'em 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 presently 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 just
As thread bare, and as full of duft.
His talk was now of tythes 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 chrift'nings 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 food up firm for Right Divine;
Found his head fill'd with many a fystem:
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.
Inflead of home-fpun coifs, were feen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen ;
Her petticoat, transform'd a-pace,
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 so prim;
And the admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life
Were fev'ral years this man and wife;
When on a day which prov'd their laft,
Difcourfing o'er old ftories paft,