« ZurückWeiter »
Warning the cook-maid 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 view,
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 Moll,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
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. *
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."
The tribes of Israel are sometimes distinguished in country churches by the ensigns given to them by Jacob.
Philemon, having paus'd awhile,
Return'd them thanks in homely style :
Then said, "My house is grown so fine,
Methinks I still would call it mine;
I'm 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 cassoc grew,
And both assum'd sable hue;
But, being old, continued just
As thread-bare, 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 miss'd 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of home-spun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Became black sattin, 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 admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy 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, amidst their talk,
To the church-yard to take a walk;
When Baucis hastily cry'd out,
"My dear, I see your forehead sprout!" [us?
"Sprout!" quoth the man; "what's this you tell
I hope you don't believe me jealous?
But yet, methinks, I feel it true;
And really yours is budding too: —
Nay-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, dy'd a-top, was stunted;
So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE MORNING. 1709.
Now hardly here and there an hackney coach
Appearing, show'd the ruddy Morn's approach. ›
Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
And softly stole to discompose her own;
The slipshod 'prentice from his master's door
Had par'd the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dextrous airs,
Prepar'd to scrub the entry and the stairs.
The youth with broomy stumps began to trace
The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place.
The small-coal-man was heard with cadence deep,
Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep.
Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
And brick-dust Moll had scream'd through half the
The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees:
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
And school-boys lag with satchels in their hands.
THE GRAND QUESTION DEBATED:
WHETHER HAMILTON'S BAWN SHOULD BE TURNED INTO A BARRACK OR A MALT-HOUSE. 1729.
THUS spoke to my lady the knight* full of care:
"Let me have your advice in a weighty affair.
This Hamilton's bawn +, whilst it sticks on my hand,
I lose by the house what I get by the land;
But how to dispose of it to the best bidder,
For a barrack or malt-house, we now must consider.
"First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house,
Here I have computed the profit will fall t' us;
There's nine hundred pounds for labour and grain,
I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain;
A handsome addition for wine and good cheer,
Three dishes a day, and three hogsheads a year:
With a dozen large vessels my vault shall be stor❜d;
No little scrub joint shall come on my board;
And you and the Dean no more shall combine
To stint me at night to one bottle of wine;
Nor shall I, for his humour, permit you to purloin
A stone and a quarter of beef from my surloin.
If I make it a barrack, the crown is my tenant!
My dear, I have ponder'd again and again on 't:
* Sir Arthur Acheson, at whose seat this was written.
† A large old house, two miles from Sir Arthur's seat. F.