Page images

But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain ; for a superior force
Apply'd 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,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower.
The flier, though it had learlen feet,
Turn’d round so quick you scarce could see't;
But, slacken'd by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near allied,
Had never left each other's side:
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adherd;
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cookmaid not to burn
That roast meat, which it cannot turn.

The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall;
There stuck aloft in public views,
And with small change, a pulpit grew.

The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show,
To a less noble substance chang’d,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd.


The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Mall, **
Fair Rosamond, and Robinhood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improv'd in picture, size, and letter:
And, high in order plac'd, describe
The heraldry of every tribe.t

A bedstead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos’d into pews;
Which still their ancient nature keep,
By lodging folks dispos’d to sleep.

The cottage, by such feats as these,
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desir'd their host
To ask for what he fancy'd most.
Philemon, having paus’d a while,
Return’d them thanks in homely style;
Then said, “My house is grown so fine,
Methinks, I still would call it mine.
l'ın old, and fain would live at ease;
Make me the parson if you please.”

He spoke, and presently he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels:
He sees, yet hardly can believe,
About each arm a pudding sleeve;
His waistcoat to a cassock grew,
And both assum'd a sable hue;

[ocr errors]

* Mall Frith, the Roaring Girl. See Granger. N. + The tribes of Israel are sometimes distinguished in country churches by the ensigns given to them by Jacob. H.


But, being old, continu'd just
As threadbare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He smok’d his pipe, and read the news;
Knew how to preach old sermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text;
At christenings well could act his part,
And had the service all by heart;
Wish'd women might have children fast,
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last;
Against dissenters would repine,
And stood up firm for “right divine;"
Found his head fill'd with many a system:
But classic authors,--he ne'er iniss'd 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,

Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of homespun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg’d with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transformi'd apace,

, Became black satin flounc'd with lace. “ Plain Goody” would no longer down, 'Twas “Madam,” in her grogram gown. Philemon was in great surprise, And hardly could believe his eyes, Amaz'd to see her look so prim; And she adınir'd as much at him.

Thus liappy in their change of life, Were several years this man and wife:

: When on a day which prov’d their last, Discoursing o'er old stories past, They went by chance, amid their talk, To the churchyard to take a walk; When Baucis hastily cry'd out, "My dear, I see your forehead sprout!”–

“Sprout !”

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Sprout !” quoth the man; * What's this

you tell us? I hope you don't believe me jealous ! But yet, methinks, I feel it true; And really yours is budding tooNay,—now I cannot stir my foot; It feels as if 'twere taking root.'

Description would but tire my muse,
In short, they both were turn'd to yews.
Old goodman Dobson of the green
Remembers he the trees has seen;
He'll talk of them from noon till night,
And goes with folks to show the sight;
On Sundays, after evening prayer,
He gathers all the parish there;
Points out the place of either yew;
Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew :
Till once a parson of our town,
To mend his barn, cut Baucis down;
At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd
How much the other tree was griev'd,
Grew scrubbed, died atop, was stunted ;
So the next parson stubb’d and burnt it.





WELL; 'tis as Biekerstaff has guess’d,
Though we all took it for a jest :


Partridge is dead; nay more, he died
Ere he could prove the good 'squire lied.
Strange, an astrologer should die
Without one wonder in the sky:
Not one of all his crony stars

their duty at his hearse!
No meteor, no eclipse appear'd !
No comet with a flaming beard !
The sun has rose, and gone to bed,
Just as if Partridge were not dead;
Nor hid himself behind the moon
To make a dreadful night at noon.
He at fit periods walks through Aries,
Howe'er our earthly motion varies;
And twice a year he'll cut th' Equator,
As if there had been no such matter.

Some wits have wonder'd what analogy
There is ’twixt cobbling* and astrology;
How Partridge made his optics rise
From a shoe-sole to reach the skies.

A list the cobbler's temples ties,
To keep the hair out of his eyes;
From whence 'tis plain the diadem
That princes wear derives from them:
And therefore crowns are nowadays
Adorn’d with golden stars and rays;
Which plainly shows the near alliance
'Twixt cobbling and the planets' science.

Besides, that slow-pac'd sign Boötes,
As 'tis miscallid, we know not who 'tis :
But Partridge ended all disputes ;
He knew his trade, and callid it boots. 7

* Partridge was a cobbler. Swift.
+ See his Almanack. SWIFT,


« PreviousContinue »