Ovid relates, as Dryden retells,
how Jupiter and Mercury go hunt-
ing for a place to crash for the
night, and after being met with
many locked palaces, come to the
shed of Baucis and Philemon, hos-
pitable, but tellingly austere -
Inured to want, their poverty they bore,
Nor aimed at wealth, professing to be poor.
For master or for servant here to call
Was all alike, where only two were all.
Command was none, where equal love was paid;
Or rather both commanded, both obeyed.
And up they held their hands and fell to pray'r,
Excusing as they could their country fare.
Steven N. Wicker and
Baucis and Philemon
out of the Eighth Book
of Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'
Penguin Classics, 2001©
i Alair Gomes, photo