Philemon and Baucis
“Welcome, dear companion! You’ve come to hear the tale?
Of the truly loving mortals that stand before this temple trail?
What? You’ve never heard of Baucis and Philemon?
Climb that branch of Oak there and I will climb the Linden.
Yes, ‘tis true they are of one trunk, get comfy hear this story
For tonight I tell the tale of a humble immortal glory.”
Upon Olympus Zeus sat bored twiddling his beard,
“Hermes, my quickened friend, let’s explore some weird.”
Hermes was always eager to dip his toes in mortal world
Grabbed Zeus’ hand before his mind changed to Phrygia swirled.
“We can’t go door to door, looking like we do.”
So they dug some dirt and conjured clothes making beggars of the two.
Hundreds of doors they knocked upon with no the final refrain
Zeus was boiling with fury, Hermes with disdain.
“Do they not realize,” Said the patron God of travel.
“That when they turn away a stranger, their luck will soon unravel?”
“Apparently not, my friend,” Zeus replied. “But let’s try one more time.
For up ahead is a dilapidated hut that’s way past its prime.”
“If you say so Zeus, but you’re bound to be disappointed.
That’s certainly no place, where wealth has e’er anointed.”
Before the hand of the beggar ever came to rest on the door,
It opened up warm and widely, to a dirt, but well swept floor.
“Come in! Come in! Come join us while we feast.
It’s rare when we are visited by such company as thee.”
Baucis began feverishly to put the food together.
While Philemon worked diligently to make the visitor’s comfort better.
The old woman boiled a pot of hot water and raided meager provisions
The old couple worked the room feverishly under watchful supervision.
She prepared olives, bread and bacon, radishes and eggs
While the old man took a broken dish to fix the table leg.
They spread out the table with everything they cut loose.
They even chased until breathless both, their family pet goose!
They filled the plates with generous portions. They filled the cups with wine.
And among the love and laughter, the four people heartily dined.
With a burp and a push, the Gods revealed their true being
The old couple nodded with love at each other then to the Gods now seeing.
“What is it we can do for you, name anything you wish.”
Philemon nodded to Baucis, his eyes filled with tenderness.
“This humble cottage has always been our home, though our pockets are slenderest,
We’ve never known a moment of sorrow, never had to borrow.
We’d like to live here, if you care not, to serve you our living days
But we ask that neither one of us live alone when one passes away.”
Baucis smiled up at her husband with tears in her sweet blue eyes.
Philemon smiled back at her, then they bowed to the deities.
A beautiful temple of marble and gold sprouted where they stood.
He grew leaves while she grew leaves as they turned to wood.
“Farewell my dear companion, were their blessed lasting bliss.
You sit upon the tree they became with the final lover’s kiss.”