All were awestruck nor did they approve of such words,
Before everyone Lelex, experienced in mind and age,
So said: “The power of the sky is great and has no end,
And whatever the gods have wished is accomplished,
So that you may doubt less, an oak tree
Next to a linden tree on Phrygian hills is surrounded by a modest wall;
I myself saw the place; for Pittheus sent me into
Pelopeian fields that are ruled by his parent.
By no means far from here is a swamp, once habitable land,
Now waves, frequented by seagulls and water fowl;
Jupiter came here in mortal disguise, and
With his parent came Mercury the caduceus bearer after his wings had
been set aside They approached a thousand homes, seeking a place for rest,
But locks closed a thousand homes; however one house received them,
Small indeed, covered with straw and reeds from the marsh,
But the pious old woman Baucis and Philemon of equal age
Have been joined in youthful years in that house.
In that house they grew old together and by admitting their poverty
And by bearing it with not an uneven mind, they made light of it.
Nor does it matter, that you should ask for masters or servants there:
The whole house is the two: they both obey and order the same.
Therefore when the heaven dwellers arrived at this humble home,
and with lowered heads entered the low doorpost,
the old man placed a couch for them and invited them to rest their limbs,
upon which attentive Baucis threw a rough cloth,
Then she stirred up the warm ashes in the hearth, and
roused yesterday’s fire, and fed it with leaves and dry bark,
and leads [it] forth to flames with old woman's breath
and brought down splintered torches and dry twigs from the roof
and reduced [them] and moves [them under] a small pot
and what her own spouse had collected from a well-watered garden,
she strips turnips from its foliage; he lifts down with a
two-pronged fork dirty backs of sow hanging from a black rafter,
and cuts back a meager piece from the stored back
and boils-soft the cut [piece] in boiling water.
Meanwhile they beguile the middle hours with conversations
and brandish a cushion from a sedge of rivers
placed on a couch on a frame and on willow feet.
They covered this with cloths, which they were not accustomed to strew
except in festive time, but even these blankets were cheap and old,
not unworthy of the willow couch.
The gods reclined. The trembling gathered up old woman
placed a table, but the third foot of the table was unequal:
a pottery-shard made [it] equal; after which pushed underneath
raised the slope, fresh mints wiped the leveled [table].
Hither upon it she put a two-colored olive of pure Minerva
and autumnal cornelian-cherries preserved in clear dregs
and chicories and a radish and a lump of curdled milk
and eggs not lightly stirred in bitter ashes,
all in earthenwares. After these she set out for the purpose a wine-mixing-bowl
carved from silver and cups [carved] of beech wood,
which were holes smeared with tawny waxes;
There was a little delay, and the hearth sent heated feasts,
nor were wines of long age born back backward
and the drawn apart [feasts] gave little place for second courses:
Here [is] a nut, here a fig is mixed with wrinkled dates
and plums and apples smell in gaping baskets
and grapes gathered from purple vines,
in the centre is a white honeycomb; above all,
good faces were added nor weak and poor spirit.
“Meanwhile as often as the bowl was drained it was
refilled of its own will and they see that wines refill themselves:
astonished by the strangeness they are frightened and utter
with supine hands prayers both Baucis and timid Philemon
and beg for forgiveness for the meal, and no preparations.
There was a single goose, the guard of their small house:
whom the owners prepared to sacrifice for the guest gods;
that one quick with a wing tired the ones slow with age
and eludes [them] for a long time and finally seemed to have taken
refuge with the gods themselves: the gods forbade [it] to be killed,
‘We are gods, and this impious neighborhood will pay
just penalties,’ they said, ‘it will be given to you to be
free of this evil; forthwith leave your roofs
and accompany our steps and go into the heights of the mountain
likewise!’ Lifted they both obey and strived to put
footsteps on the long slope with their sticks.
They were as far away from the summit as an arrow is able to go once
having been sent: they bent their eyes and see the rest
sunk in the swamp, that only their own roof(s) remain, and
while they marvel at these, while they weep the fates of their own,
that old cottage small even for two owners,
is turned into a temple: pillars replace wooden-props,
and the straw yellowed and golden roofs were seen
and carved doors, and ground covered with marble.
Then from a calm mouth Juppiter said these things:
‘say, o just old man and o woman worthy of a just husband,
what you wish.’ Having spoken a little with Baucis
Philemon reveals their joint verdict to the gods:
‘we ask to be priests and watch over your temples,
and since we have spent harmonious years,
let the same hour take us two, nor may I ever see
my wife’s tomb(s), neither may I be buried by her.’
Fulfillment follows prayer: they were the guardians of the temple,
as long as life was given; weakened by years and old-age
when by chance they were standing before the sacred steps and
discussing the place’s downfall, Baucis [saw] that Philemon was in leaf,
old Philemon saw that Baucis was in leaf.
And now while the top grew over twin countenances
while it is permitted, they returned mutual words and said ‘farewell,
o companion’ at once, likewise bark covered concealed mouths:
Bithynian inhabitants hitherto show
the neighboring trunks from twin bodies there.
These things not untrustworthy old men recounted to me
(nor was it, why would they wish to deceive); for my part, I saw
garlands hanging above branches, and placing fresh ones said:
‘Let cares of gods be gods, and who have worshipped be worshipped.’ ”
Obstipuēre omnēs nec tālia dicta probārunt,
ante omnesque Lelex animo maturus et aevo,
sic ait: “inmensa est finemque potentia caeli
non habet, et quicquid superi voluere, peractum est,
quōque minus dubites, tiliae contermina quercus
collibus est Phrygiis modico circumdata muro;
ipse locum vidi; nam me Pelopeia Pittheus
misit in arva suo quondam regnata parenti.
haud procul hinc stagnum est, tellus habitabilis olim,
nunc celebres mergis fulicisque palustribus undae;
Iuppiter huc specie mortali cumque parente
venit Atlantiades positis caducifer alis.
mille domos adiere locum requiemque petentes,
mille domos clausere serae; tamen una recepit,
parva quidem, stipulis et canna tecta palustri,
sed pia Baucis anus parilique aetate Philemon
illā sunt annis iuncti iuvenalibus, illā
consenuēre casā paupertatemque fatendo
effecere levem nec inīquā mente ferendo;
nec refert, dominos illic famulosne requires:
tota domus duo sunt, idem parentque iubentque.
ergo ubi caelicolae parvos tetigere penates
summissoque humiles intrarunt vertice postes,
membra senex posito iussit relevare sedili;
cui superiniecit textum rude sedula Baucis
inque foco tepidum cinerem dimovit et ignes
suscitat hesternos foliisque et cortice sicco
nutrit et ad flammas animā producit anīlī
multifidasque faces ramaliaque arida tecto
detulit et minuit parvoque admovit aeno,
quodque suus coniunx riguo conlegerat horto,
truncat holus foliis; furcā levat ille bicorni
sordida terga suis nigro pendentia tigno
servatoque diu resecat de tergore partem
exiguam sectamque domat ferventibus undis.
interea medias fallunt sermonibus horas
concutiuntque torum de molli fluminis ulva
inpositum lecto spondā pedibusque salignis.
vestibus hunc velant, quas non nisi tempore festo
sternere consuerant, sed et haec vilisque vetusque
vestis erat, lecto non indignanda saligno.
adcubuere dei. mensam succincta tremensque
ponit anus, mensae sed erat pes tertius inpar:
testa parem fecit; quae postquam subdita clivum
sustulit, aequatam mentae tersere virentes.
ponitur hic bicolor sincerae baca Minervae
conditaque in liquida corna autumnalia faece
intibaque et radix et lactis massa coacti
ovaque non acri leviter versata favilla,
omnia fictilibus. post haec caelatus eodem
sistitur argento crater fabricataque fago
pocula, qua cava sunt, flaventibus inlita ceris;
parva mora est, epulasque foci misere calentes,
nec longae rursus referuntur vina senectae
dantque locum mensis paulum seducta secundis:
hīc nux, hīc mixta est rugosis carica palmis
prunaque et in patulis redolentia mala canistris
et de purpureis conlectae vitibus uvae,
candidus in medio favus est; super omnia vultus
accessere boni nec iners pauperque voluntas.
“Interea totiens haustum cratera repleri
sponte sua per seque vident succrescere vina:
attoniti novitate pavent manibusque supinis
concipiunt Baucisque preces timidusque Philemon
et veniam dapibus nullisque paratibus orant.
unicus anser erat, minimae custodia villae:
quem dis hospitibus domini mactare parabant;
ille celer penna tardos aetate fatigat
eluditque diu tandemque est visus ad ipsos
confugisse deos: superi vetuere necari
‘di’ que ‘sumus, meritasque luet vicinia poenas
inpia’ dixerunt; ‘vobis inmunibus huius
esse mali dabitur; modo vestra relinquite tecta
ac nostros comitate gradus et in ardua montis
ite simul!’ parent ambo baculisque levati
nituntur longo vestigia ponere clivo.
tantum aberant summo, quantum semel ire sagitta
missa potest: flexere oculos et mersa palude
cetera prospiciunt, tantum sua tecta manere,
dumque ea mirantur, dum deflent fata suorum,
illa vetus dominis etiam casa parva duobus
vertitur in templum: furcas subiere columnae,
stramina flavescunt aurataque tecta videntur
caelataeque fores adopertaque marmore tellus.
talia tum placido Saturnius edidit ore:
‘dicite, iuste senex et femina coniuge iusto
digna, quid optetis.’ cum Baucide pauca locutus
iudicium superis aperit commune Philemon:
‘esse sacerdotes delubraque vestra tueri
poscimus, et quoniam concordes egimus annos,
auferat hora duos eadem, nec coniugis umquam
busta meae videam, neu sim tumulandus ab illa.’
vota fides sequitur: templi tutela fuere,
donec vita data est; annis aevoque soluti
ante gradūs sacros cum starent forte locique
narrarent casus, frondere Philemona Baucis,
Baucida conspexit senior frondere Philemon.
iamque super geminos crescente cacumine vultus
mutua, dum licuit, reddebant dicta ‘vale’ que
‘o coniunx’ dixere simul, simul abdita texit
ora frutex: ostendit adhuc Thyneius illic
incola de gemino vicinos corpore truncos.
haec mihi non vani (neque erat, cur fallere vellent)
narravere senes; equidem pendentia vidi
serta super ramos ponensque recentia dixi
‘cura deum di sint, et, qui coluere, colantur.’ ”