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“ He carries weight ! he rides a race!
'Tis for a thousand pound !”
And still, as fast as he drew near,
'Twas wonderful to view How in a trice the turnpike-men
Their gates wide open threw.
And now, as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
Were shatter'd at a blow.
Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous to be seen,
As they had basted been.
But still he seem'd to carry weight,
With leathern girdle braced,
Still dangling at his waist.
Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did play, Until he came unto the Wash
Of Edmonton so gay;
And there he threw the wash about
On both sides of the way, Just like unto a trundling mop,
Or a wild goose at play.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
To see how he did ride.
• Stop, stop, John Gilpin ! - Here's the house,”
They all aloud did cry; “ The dinner waits, and we are tired:
Said Gilpin — “So am I.”
But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclined to tarry there;
For why? — his owner had a house
Full ten miles off at Ware.
So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong ;
The middle of my song.
Away went Gilpin out of breath,
And sore against his will,
His horse at last stood still.
The calender, amazed to see
His neighbor in such trim,
And thus accosted him :
“What news ? what news ? your tidings tell;
Tell me you must and shall — Say why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all!”
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke; And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke: –
“I came because your horse would come;
And, if I well forbode,
They are upon the road.”
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin, Returned him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig:
A wig that flowed behind,
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus showed his ready wit
“My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.
“ But let me scrape the dirt away
That hangs about your face;
Be in a hungry case
Said John “ It is my wedding-day,
And all the world would stare If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I should dine at Ware"
So, turning to his horse, he said,
“I am in haste to dine; 'Twas for your pleasure you came here –
You shall come back for mine."
Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast,
For which he paid full dear! For while he spake, a braying ass
Did sing most loud and clear;
Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Had heard a lion roar,
As he had done before.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin's hat and wig:
For why? - they were too big.
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
She pulled out half a crown;
And thus unto the youth she said
That drove them to the Bell, “ This shall be yours when you bring back
My husband safe and well.”
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
John coming back amain,
Whom in a trice he tried to stop
By catching at his rein;
But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,
And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went post-boy at his heels,
The lumbering of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
They raised the hue and cry:
Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman!'
Not one of them was mute;
Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike-gates again
Flew open in short space;
That Gilpin rode a race.
And so he did, and won it too,
For he got first to town;
He did again get down.
Now let us sing, Long live the king!
And Gilpin, long live he;
May I be there to see!
From “ The Fable for Critics."-Lorello What! Irving? thrice welcome, warm heart and fine brain, You bring back the happiest spirit from Spain,
And the gravest sweet humor, that ever was there
From “ The Queen's Wake." - James Hogg.
They lifted Kilmeny, they led her away,
Now shall the land of the spirits see,