Baucis and Philemon
Imitated, From the Eighth Book of OVID
Imitated, From the Eighth Book of OVID
In ancient Time, as Story tells
The Saints would often leave their Cells
And strole about, but hide their Quality,
To try the People's Hospitality.
It happen'd on a Winter's night,
As Authors of the Legend write
Two Brother-Hermits, Saints by Trade
Taking their Tour in Masquerade
Came to a Village hard by Rixham
Ragged, and not a Groat betwixt 'em.
It rain'd as hard as it could pour,
Yet they were forc'd to walk an Hour
From House to House, wett to the Skin
Before one Soul would let 'em in.
They call'd at ev'ry Dore; good People,
My Comrade's Blind, and I'm a Creeple
Here we ly starving in the Street
'Twould grieve a Body's Heart to see't:
No Christian would turn out a Beast
In such a dreadful Night at least;
Give us but Straw, and let us ly
In yonder Barn to keep us dry.
Thus the Strolers usual Cant
They beg'd Relief which none would grant;
No Creature valu'd what they se'd:
One Family was gone to bed;
The Master bawl'd out half asleep
You Fellows, what a Noise you keep!
So many Beggers pass this way,
We can't be quiet Night nor Day;
We can not serve You every One,
Pray take your Answer and be gone.
One swore he'd send 'em to the Stocks,
A third could not forbear his Mocks,
But bawl'd as loud as he could roar,
You're on the wrong side of the Door.
One surly Clown lookt out, and said,
I'll fling the P--- pot on your Head;
You sa'n't come here nor get a Sous
You look like Rogues would rob a House
Can't you go work, or serve the King?
You blind and lame! tis no such Thing
That's buta counterfeit sore leg:
For shame! two sturdy Rascalls beg;
If I come down, I'll spoil your Trick
And cure You both with a good Stick.
Our wand'ring Saints in wofull State,
Treated at this ungodly Rate
Having thro all the Village pass't,
To a small Cottage came at last
Where dwelt a poor honest Yeman
Call'd thereabouts Goodman Philemon;
Who kindly did the Saints invite
In his poor House to pass the Night
And then the hospitable Sire
Bade Goody Baucis mend the Fire
Whilst he from out the Chimny took
A Flitch of Bacon off the Hook,
And freely from the fattest Side
Cutt off large Slices to be fry'd;
Which tosst up in a Pan with Batter,
And serv'd up in an earthen Platter;
Quoth Baucis, this is wholsom Fare,
Eat, honest Friends, and never spare,
And if we find our Vittels fail
We can but make it out in Ale.
To a small Kilderkin of Beer
Brew'd for the goodTime of the Year
Philemon by his Wife's consent
Step't with a Jug, and made a Vent;
And having fill'd it to the Brink,
Invited both the Saints to Drink.
When they had took a second Draught,
Behold, a Miracle was wrought
For, Baucis with Amezement found
Although the Jug had twice gone round
It still was full up to the Top
As if they ne'er had drunk a Drop.
You may be sure, so strange a Sight
Put the old People in a Fright;
Philemon whisper'd to his Wife,
These Men are Saints I'll lay my Life
The Strangers overheard, and said,
You're in the right, but be'n't afraid
No Hurt shall come to You ou Yours;
But for that Pack of churlish Boors
Not fitt to live on Christian Ground,
They and their Village shall be droun'd,
Whilst You shall see your Cottage rise,
And grow a Church before your Eyes.
Scarce had they spoke when fair and soft
The Roof began to mount aloft
Aloft Rose ev'ry Beam an Rafter,
The heavy Wall went clamb'ring after.
The Chimny widen'd and grew high'r,
Became a Steeple witha Spire:
The Kettle to the Top was hoist
And there stood fastned to a Joist,
But with the upside down to shew
It's inclination for below;
In vain; for a superior Force
Apply'd at Bottom stops it's Course;
Doomd ever in Suspense to dwell,
Tis now no Kettle but a Bell.
Like a huge Insect up the Wall,
There stuck, and to a Pulpitt grew,
But kept it's Matter and it's Hue,
And mindfull of it's ancient State,
Still Groans while tatling Gossips prate.
The Mortar onely chang'd it's Name,
In it's old Shape a Font became
The Porrengers that in a Row
Hung high and made a glitt'ring Show
To a less noble Substance chang'd
Were now but leathern Buckets rang'd.
The Ballads pasted round the Wall,
Of Chivy-chave, and English Mall,
For Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The little Children in the Wood,
Enlarg'd in Picture, Size and Letter
And painted, lookt abundance better
And now the Heraldry describe
Of a Churchwarden or a Tribe.
The wooden Jack which has almost
Lost by Disuse the Art to roast
A sudden Alteration feels,
Encreas't by new intestin Wheels
But what adds to the Wonder more,
The Number made the Motion slower
The Fly'r, altho't had leaden Feet,
Would turn so quick ou scarce could see't
But now stopt by some hidden Pow's
Moves round but twice in twice twelve Hours
While in the Station of a Jack
'Twas never known to turn its Back
A Friend in Turns and Windings try'd
Nor ever left the Chimny side.
The Chimny to a Stteple grown,
The Jack would not be left alone
But up against the Steeple rear'd,
Became a Clock, and still adher'd,
And still it's Love to Houshold Cares
By a shrill Voice at Noon declares,
Warning the Cook-maid not to burn
That Roast-meat which it cannot turn.
A bed-sted in the antique mode
Compos'd of Timber many a Load;
Such as our Grandfathers did use,
Was Metamorphos'd into Pews;
Which yet their former Virtue keep,
By lodging Folks dispos'd to sleep.
The Cottage with such Feats as these
Grown to a Church by just Degrees,
The holu Men desir'd their Host
To ask for what he fancy'd most.
Philemon having pause'd a while
Reply'd in complementall Style:
Your Goodness more than my Desert
Makes you take all things in good Part:
You've rais'd a Church here in a Minute,
AndI would fain continue in it;
I'm good for little at my Days;
Make me the Parson if you please.
He spoke and presently he feels
His Grazier's Coat reach down his Heels,
The Sleeves new border'd with a List
Widn'd and gatherd at his Wrist;
But being old continued nust
As theadbare, and as full of Dust.
A shambling awkward Gate he took,
With a demure dejected Look.
Talkt of his Off'rings, Tyths and Dues,
Could smoak, and drink, and read the News;
Or sell a Goose at the next Toun
Decently hid beneath his Goun.
Contrievd to preach his sermon next
Chang'd in the Preface and the Text:
Carry'd to his Equalls high'r,
But most obsequious to the Squire.
At Christnings 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 wou'd repine,
And stood up firm for Right Divine:
Found his Head fill'd with manya System,
But Classick 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 a 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 wasin great Surprize,
And hardly could believe his Eyes,
Amaz'd to see her look so prim,
And she's 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 on 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:
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 re'ly, 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 Good-man Dobson of the Green
Remembers he the Trees has seen;
He'll talk of them from Noon till Night,
And goes with Folks to shew the Sight:
On Sundaysm after Ev'ning 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 scrubby, dy'd a-top, was stunted:
So, the next Parson stub'd and burnt it.
O poema está todo disponível online, nesta página, provavelmente em muitas outras. Não conferi se essa versão da Internet é a editada por Swift. Me incomoda que tenham negligenciado as Maiúsculas assim, como se fossem Nada - "ah, dane-se a Vontade do Autor, haha", e acabei digitando (embora tenha eu mesmo negligenciado os Itálicos, que depois devo consertar). Digitei conforme aparece na minha edição de The Writings of Jonathan Swift, da Norton Critical Edition, e é provável que haja algumas dezenas de erros no texto. A culpa é minha, mas pode ser do livro, também.
Também estou pra transcrever um trecho de A Lei, do Thomas Mann, em que Moisés proíbe Israel de fazer o que vivia fazendo (comer cobra cega, cavalo, porco, a irmã, a mãe e as tias, por exemplo). Nem gostei muito do livro (Duas Novelas, A Lei e A Enganada), e d'A Lei não gostei mesmo, achei bem chato esse negócio de racionalizar sobre a história de Moisés, buscar justificativas racionais pros milagres, essas coisas chatas.
Ah, o cajado não virou cobra, era só um truque, pisca o olho. O mar não se abriu por obra de Moisés, foi o vento, faz cara de esperto. Pragas? Coisas eventuais no Egito, que acontecem com alguma regularidade e aí, embora não faça, deveria cair morto, como os primogênitos do Egito. Damned be him.
A Enganada é melhor, mas é chato ter que ficar vendo o tempo todo que a mãe de família está na menopausa (e que dificuldade pra dizer essa palavra, Deus! aquele estado da mulher mais velha, ou coisa assim, é tudo o que ele diz, talvez tentando insinuar o óbvio. Aprenda uma coisa, Mann: quando algo é muito óbvio, não se insinua. Diz-se de uma vez: Parou de menstruar) e que se sente menos mulher por isso.
A sensibilidade muito intensa nessas coisas de sexo me incomoda bastante quando descrita, e eu me senti como se a qualquer momento a mãe fosse gritar pra fora do livro seus sentimentos reprimidos Eu quero transar com o professor de inglês do meu filho de oito anos e pontuar com três exclamações, !!!. Aliás, pra mim, a grande questão não é uma velha viúva transar com um jovem de metade da idade, é transar com o professor do filho de oito anos. Ser interrompido, no meio da aula, pela mãe gritando vem, amor, me pega, me joga na parede e me chama de mulher não parece a melhor experiência de aula pra ninguém.
Uma observação que eu quero fazer é que aqui, de novo, existem aleijados (a filha tem o pé, direito, acredito, defeituoso, e tem um guarda com problema semelhante na mão). Parece que Thomas Mann tem esse afeto pelos mutilados. Klaus Heinrich tem problema num dos braços. Em "As Cabeças Trocadas", pessoas tem suas cabeças cortadas e substituídas pela do melhor amigo. Devo dizer, entretanto, que neste último caso não importa, porque eles não são mutilados, apenas por alguns segundos estão sem as cabeças.
Mas não sei o que me espera N'A Montanha Mágica.
E eu nem posso culpar a tradutora, a Lya Luft, que foi ela que traduziu Sua Alteza Real, que está entre meus favoritos all time.
Parece, agora, que estou me especializando em posts longos, muito longos.