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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 piteons to be seen,
But still he seem'd to carry weight,
With leathern girdle brac'd;
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, Jast 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 at once did cry; * The dinner waits, and we are tir'd:'
Said Gilpin—So am I!
But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclin'd to tarry there;
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 ont of breath,
And sore against his will, Till at his friend the calender's
His horse at last stood still.
The calender, amaz'd to see
His neighbour in such trim,
And thus accosted bim :
• What news? what news? your tidings tell;
Tell me you must and shall--
Or why you come at all ?
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
Aud lov'd a timely joke! And thus upto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:
“I came because your horse would come;
And, if I well forebode,
They are upon the road.'
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin, Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
A wig that flow'd behind,
Each comely in it's kind.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus show'd his ready wit,
They therefore needs must fit.
'But let me scrape the dirt away,
That hangs upon 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 go back for mine.'
Ah luckless speech, and bootless boast !
For which he paid fall dear;
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 Into the country far away,
She pulld 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 wonld have done,
And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at bis heels,
The Jumb'ring of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
They rais'd the hue and cry :--
Not one of them was mute;
Did join in the pursuit.
Flew open in short space,
That Gilpin rode a race.
For he got first to town;
He did again get down.
And Gilpin long live he;
THE YEARLY DISTRESS; OR, TITHING TIME AT
STOCK, IN ESSEX. Verses addressed to a country clergyman complaining of the
disagreeableness of the day annually appointed for receiving the dues at the parsonage. COME, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong, The troubles of a worthy priest,
The burden of my song.