Sivut kuvina

At last an hospitable house they found,
A homely shed; the roof, not far from ground,
Was thatch'd with reeds and straw together

There Baucis and Philemon liv'd, and there
Had liv'd long marry'd, and a happy pair :
Now old in love ; tho little was their store,
Inur'd to want, their poverty they bore,
Nor aim'd at wealth, professing to be poor.
For master or for servant here to call,
Was all alike, where only two were all.
Command was none, where equal love was paid,
Or sather both commanded, both obey'd.

From lofty roofs the Gods repuls'd before, Now stooping, enter'd thro the little door ; The man (their hearty welcome first express'd) A common settle drew for either guest, Inviting each his weary

limbs to rest. Bụt ere they sat, officious Baucis lays Two cushions ftuff d with straw, the seat to raise ; Coarse, but the best the had ; then takes the

load Of ashes from the hearth, and spreads abroad The living coals, and left they shou'd expire, With leaves and barks the feeds her infant-fire ;


Itsmokes, and then with trembling breath she blows,
Till in a chearful blaze the flames arose.
With brush-wood and with chips the strengthens

these, And adds at last the boughs of rotten trees. The fire thus form’d, she sets the kettle on, (Like burnish'd gold the little seether shone) Next took the coleworts which her husband got From his own ground (a small well water'd spot;) She stripp'd the stalks of all their leaves ; the best

She culld, and then with handy care she dress’d. : High o'er the hearth a chine of bacon hung;

Good old Philemon seiz'd it with a prong,
And from the footy rafter drew it down,
Then cut a slice, but scarce enough for one:
Yer a large portion of a little store,
Which for their fakes alone he wish'd were more.
This in the pot he plung’d without delay,
To tame the flesh, and drain the salt away.
The time between, before the fire they sat,
And shorten'd the delay by pleasing chat.

A beam there was, on which a beechen pail
Hung by the handle, on a driven nail :
This fill’d with water, gently warm’d, they set
Before their guests ; in this they bath'd their feet,
And after with clean towels dry'd their sweat ;

This done, the host produc'd the genial bed,
Sallow the foot, the borders, and the sted,
Which with no costly coverlet they spread ;
But coarse old garments, yet such robes as these
They laid alone, at feasts, on holydays.
The good old housewife, tucking up her

The table sets ; th’invited Gods lie down.
The trivet-table of a foot was lame,
A blot which prudent Baucis overcame,
Who thrust, beneath the limping leg, a sherd,
So was the mended board exactly rear’d:
Then rubb'd it o'er with newly gather'd mint,
A wholsome herb, that breath'd a grateful

scent. Pallas began the feast, where first was seen The party-color'd olive, black and green; Autumnnal cornels next in order serv'd, In lees of wine well pickled and preserv'd; A garden-sallad was the third supply, Of endive, radishes, and succory : Then curds and cream, the flow'r of country fare, And new-laid eggs, which Baucis' busy care Turn'd by a gentle fire, and roasted rare. All these in earthern-ware were serv'd to board; And next in place, an earthern pitcher stor'd With liquor of the best the cottage cou'd afford.

This was the table's ornament, and pride,
With figures wrought : like pages at his side
Stood beechen bowls; and these were shining

Varnish'd with wax without, and lin’d within.
By this the boiling kettle had prepar’d,
And to the table sent the smoking lard ;
On which with eager appetite they dine,
A sav'ry bit, that sery'd to relish wine:
The wine itself was suiting to the rest,
Still working in the must, and lately preis’d.
The second course-succeeds like that before,
Plums, apples, nuts, and, of their wintry-store,
Dry figs and grapes, and wrinkled dates were set
In canisters, t'inlarge the little treat:
All these a milk-white honey-comb surround,
Which in the midst the country-banquet crown'd.
But the kind hosts their entertainment grace
With hearty welcome, and an open face:
In all they did, you might discern with ease
A willing mind, and a desire to please.
Mean time the beechen bowls went round,

and still, Tho often empty'd, were observ'd to fill, Filld without hands, and of their own accord Ran without feet, and danc'd about the board.

[ocr errors]

Devotion seiz'd the pair, to see the feast
With wine, and of no common grape, increas'd:
And up they held their hands, and fell to pray'r,
Excusing,' as they cou'd, their country fare.
One goose they had ('twas all they cou'd allow)
A wakeful centry, and on duty now,
Whom to the Gods for sacrifice they vow:
Her, with malicious zeal, the couple view'd;
She ran for life, and limping they pursu'd :
Full well the fowl perceiv'd their bad intent,
And wou'd not make her master's compliment;
But persecuted, to the pow'rs she flies,
And close between the legs of Jove she lies.
He, with a gracious ear, the suppliant heard,
And sav'd her life ; then what he was declar'd,
And own'd the God. The neighbourhood,

said he,
Shall justly perish for impiety :
You stand alone exempted; but obey
With speed, and follow where we lead the way:
Leave these accurs'd; and to the mountain's

Ascend; nor once look backward in your flight.

They haste, and what their tardy feet denyd, The trusty staff (their better leg) fupply'd.


« EdellinenJatka »