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Bat Barnard a quiet conscience had,
No guile did his bosom know;
And when ev’ning clos’d,
His old bones repos'd,
Though the wintry blast
O'er his hovel past,
And he slept while the winds did blow!
But his grandson, he could never sleep
Till the Sun began to rise;
For a fev'rish pain
Oppress'd his brain,
And he fear'd some evil,
And dream'd of the Devil,
Whenever he clos'd his eyes !
And whenever he feasted the rich and gay
The Devil still had his joke;
For however rare
The sumptuous fare,
When the sparkling glass
Was seen to pass
He was fearful the draught would choke!
And whenever, in fine and costly geer,
The 'squire went forth to ride :
The owl would cry,
And the raven fly
Across his road,
While the sluggish toad
Would crawl by his palfry's side.
And he could not command the sunny day, For the rain would wet him through ;
And the wind would blow
Where his nag did go,
And the thunder roar,
And the torrents pour,
And he felt the chill evening dew.
And the cramp would wring his youthful bones,
And would make him groan aloud;
And the doctor's art
Could not cure the heart,
While the conscience still
Was o'ercharg'd with ill;
And he dream'd of the pick-axe and shroud.
And why could old Barnard sweetly sleep,
Since so poor and so old was he?
Because he could say
At the close of day,
"I have done no wrong
To the weak or strong,
And so, Heaven look kind on me!
One night the grandson hied him forth,
To a monk, that liv'd hard by;
•O! father!' said he,
"I am come to thee,
For I'm sick of sip,
And would fain begin
To repent me,
before I die!
"I must pray for your soul,' the monk replied,
*But will see you to-morrow, ere noon:'
Then the monk few straight
To old Barnard's gate,
And he bade him haste
O’er the dewy waste,
By the light of the waning Moon.
In the monkish cell did old Barnard wait,
And his grandson went thither soon;
In a habit of grey,
Ere the dawn of day,
With a cowl and cross,
On the sill of moss,
He knelt by the light of the Moon.
• O! shrive me, father! the grandson cried,
• For the Devil is waiting for me!
I have robb'd the poor,
I have shut my door,
And kept ont the good
When they wanted food-
And I come for my pardon to thee.'
'Get home, young sinner,' old Barnard said,
“And your grandsire quickly see;
Give him half your store,
For he's old and poor,
And avert each evil,
And cheat the Devil -
By making him rich as thee.'
The 'squire obey'd ; and old Barnard noir
Is rescu'd from every evil:
For he fears po wrong,
From the weak or strong,
And the 'squire can spore,
When the loud winds roar,
For he dreams no more of the Devil.
In ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happend 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,
Tried every tone might pity win;
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wand'ring saints, in woeful 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 honest yeoman, Call’d, in the neighbourhood, Philemon; Who kindly did these saints invite In his poor hut to pass the night; And then the hospitable sire Bid goody Baucis mend the fire; While he from out the chimney took A fitch of bacon off the hook, And freely, from the fattest side, Cut out large slices to be fried ; Then stepp'd aside to fetch them 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 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 art!'
Then softly turn'd aside, to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling and their errand :
• Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints,' the hermits said :
• 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;
While you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.'
They scarce had spoke, when, fair and soft,
The roof began to mount aloft;
Aloft rose ev'ry beam and rafter;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten’d to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain; for a superior force,
Applied at bottom, stops its course :
Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,