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I saw the Place and them, by Pittheus sent
ToPhrygian Realms, my GrandfiresGovernment,
Not far from thence is seen a Lake, the Haunt
Of Coots, and of the fishing Cormorant:
Here Jove with Hermes came; but in Disguise
Of mortal Men conceal'd their Deities;
One laid aside his Thunder, one his Rod;
And many toissom Steps together trod:
For Harbour at a thousand Doors they knock’d,
Not one of all the thousand but was lock’d.
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, though 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 rather both commanded, both obey'd,
From lofty Roofs the Gods repuls'd before,
Now stooping, enter'd through 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.
But ere they fate, officious Baucis lays
Two Cushions stuff'd with Straw, the Sear to raise;
Course, but thebest she had; then rakes the Load
Of Ashes from the Hearth, and spreads abroad
The living Coals; and, left they shou'd expire,
With Leaves and Barks she feeds her Infant-fire:
It smoaks;and then with tremblingBreath she blows,
Till in a chearful Blaze the Flames arose.
With Brush-wood and with Chips the strengthens
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 flione)
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 cull’d, 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 ;
Yet 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 Fleth, and drain the Salt
away. The Time between, before the Fire they fat, And shorten'd the Delay by pleasing Chat.
Ą 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 get. Before theirGuests;in this they bath'd theirFeet, And after with clean Towels dry'd their Sweat: This done, the Hoft produc'd the genial Bed, Sallow the Feet, the Borders, and the Sted, Which with no costly Coverlet they fpread; But course old Garments, yet such Robes as these Thoy laid alone, at Feafts, on Holydays. The good old Houswife tụcking up her Gown, The Table sets; th’ invited Gods lie down. The Trivet-Table of a Foot was lame, A Blot which prudent Baucis overcame,
Who thrusts beneath the limping Lega a Sherd,
So was the mended Board exa&ly, rear’d:
Then rubb'd it o'ęp with newly-gather’d Minta
A wholesom Herb, that breath’da grateful Sceat.
Pallas began the Feast, where first was seen
The party-colour'd Plive, Black, and Green;
Autumnal Cornels next in order serv'd,
In Lees of Wine well pickled, and presery'd.
A Garden-Sallad was the third Supply,
Of Endive, Radifhes, and Succory:
Then Curds and Cream, the Flow'r of Country:
And new-laid Eggs, which Baucis busie Caref
Turn'd by a gentle Fire, and roasted rare.
All thefe in Earthen Ware were ferv’d to Board;
And next in place, an Earthen Pitcher ford,
With Liquor of the best the Cottage cou'd afford.
This was the Tables Ornament, and Pride,
With Figures wrought: Like Pages at his Side
Stood BeechenBowls; and these were shining clean,
Vernish'd with Wax without, and lind within.
By this the boiling Kettle had prepar'd,
And to the Table fent, the smoaking Lard;
On which with eager Appetite they dine,
A fav'ry Bit, that serv'd to rellish Wine:
The Wine it self was suiting to the rest,
Still working in the Must, and lately press’d.
The Second Courfe fucceeds like that before,
Plums, Apples, Nuts, and of their Wintry Store,
Dry Figs, and Grapes, and wrinkled Dates were set
In Canisters, t'enlarge 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
Though often empty'd, were observ'd to fill;
Fill?d without Hands, and of their own accord
Ran without Feet, and danc'd about the Board.
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,