And saw it fairly twice go round yet what is

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And saw it fairly twice go round; Yet (what is wonderful) they found ’Twas still replenished to the top, As if they ne’er had touched a drop The good old couple were amazed, And often on each other gazed; For both were frightened to the heart, And just began to cry,—What art! Then softly turned aside to view, Whether the lights were burning blue. The gentle pilgrims soon aware on’t, Told ‘em their calling, and their errant; “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 drowned; Whilst 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 every beam and rafter, The heavy wall climbed slowly after. The chimney widened, and grew higher, Became a steeple with a spire. The kettle to the top was hoist, And there stood fastened 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 coarse, Doomed 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, The Battle of the Books
85 Jonathan Swift Increased by new intestine wheels; And what exalts the wonder more, The number made the motion slower. The flyer, though ‘t had leaden feet, Turned round so quick, you scarce could see ‘t; But slackened 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 reared, Became a clock, and still adhered; And still its love to household cares By a shrill voice at noon declares, 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 changed, Were now but leathern buckets ranged. 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 seemed to look abundance better, Improved in picture, size, and letter; And high in order placed, 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 metamorphosed into pews: Which still their ancient nature keep, By lodging folks disposed to sleep. The cottage, by such feats as these,
86 Grown to a church by just degrees, The hermits then desired their host To ask for what he fancied most.

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