To charm the wolf, or guard from thunder’s roar,
And many wonderful achievements more;
Besides the cures a prayer would oft produce;
To man and beast it proves of sov’reign use,
Far greater than from doctors e’er you’ll view,
Who, with their Latin, make so much ado.
Inturn, the three pretended knowledge great,
And mystick facts affected to relate,
While Reynold silently attention paid
To all the words the honest fellows said:—
Possess you not, said one, some secret prayer
To bring you aid, when dangers round you stare?
To this our Reynold seriously replied,
Myself, on secret spells, I do not pride;
But still some words I have that I repeat,
Each morn I travel, that I may not meet
A horrid lodging where I stop at night;
’Tis called Saint Julian’s prayer that I recite,
And truly I have found, that when I fail
To say this prayer, I’ve reason to bewail.
But rarely I neglect so good a thing,
That ills averts, and may such blessings bring.
And have you clearly said it, sir, to day?
Cried one of those he met upon his way.
Yes, Reynold answered. Well, replied the Wight;
I’ll wage, I’m better lodged than you to-night.
’Twasvery cold, and darkness ’gan to peep;
The place was distant yet, where they might sleep.
Perhaps, said Reynold, ’tis your usual care,
In travelling, to say, like me, this prayer.
Not so, the other cried, to you I vow,
Invoking saints is not my practice now;
But should I lose, thenceforth I’ll them address.—
Said Reynold, readily I acquiesce;
My life I’d venture, should you to an inn,
For, in the town, I’ve neither friend nor kin,
And, if you like, we’ll this exception make.
The other answered: Well, the bet I’ll take;
Your horse and coat against my purse you wage,
And, sure of gaining, readily engage.
Our Wight might then have thoroughly perceived,
His horse was lost—no chance to be relieved.
Besidea wood, as on the party moved,
The one, who betting had so much approved,
Now changed his tone, and in a surly way,
Exclaimed:—Alight—you’ll find it time to pray;
Let me apprize you, distant is the place,
And much you’ll need Saint Julian’s special grace.
Come off, I tell you:—instantly they took
His purse, horse, clothes, and all their hands could hook