Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Miraculous Pitcher

Gentle old Philamon lived all his life

In a tumble-down cottage with Baucis, his wife.

They often went hungry, I'm sorry to say,

Yet they shared what they had with those poorer than they.

One day, to their door came a stranger who said:

"I'm hoping you'll offer me supper and bed.

Cold is the weather and dark is the night,

And hunger makes harder my pitiful plight."

"Come in," Baucis bade him. "You're welcome, indeed!

Sit down while I find you the supper you need."

As the stranger obeyed with a sigh of content,

Off to the kitchen the old people went.

"Our milk," Baucis whispered, "is milk of the best,

But alas, there is only enough for our guest!"

Said Philomen promptly: "Our stomachs are slim.

Let's tighten our belts; fill his bowl to the brim!"



When Baucis had done so, her eyes opened wide;


She had emptied the pitcher -- yet milk was inside!

It bubbled up, drop by delectable drop


Till the pitcher was filled again, clear to the top!

Suspecting that magic was lurking about,

They looked for the stranger (to thank him, no doubt),

But the stranger had gone as would vanish a ghost,

Without a goodbye to his hostess and host --

Unless his goodbye was the magical pitcher

Refilling with milk, ever sweeter and richer!



Ernestine Cobern Beyer
Originally published 7/31/07

4 comments:

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I really like that poem! It’s the type I read and had read to me when I was a child and I’ve encountered far too few of them since I matured.

rhapsody said...

Hi Nick:)

Glad you like it -

ECB wrote for many years for women's & children's magazines, so some of the poems you heard may have been hers. I first read her poetry in 1970 - The Laughing Willow (posted below) remains my favorite to this day.

By now you probably know that her daughter, Barbara Beyer Malley, found me on the net with the help of a family friend named Margo (whose brother co-wrote Cape Wind, posted on the right). Barbara has kindly given me permission to post her mother's poetry which, thanks to her efforts, is being reintroduced to children today...

& us too:)!!!

Anonymous said...

Everyone who reads these so-rare-today poems by Ernestine Beyer must treasure them. Please keep posting these delights.

Jeeves, Jr. said...

My thanks to SS Nick and anonymous for their praise of Ernestine's poetry. She was as enchanting in person as she was as a poet.

Jeeves, Jr.

CVA

Pier One

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