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Then might all people well discern

The bottles he had slung,
A bottle swinging at each side

As hath been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,

Up flew the windows all,
And every soul cried out, Well done!

As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin—who but he ;

His fame soon spread aroundHe 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,
The bottles twain behind his back

Were shatter'd at a blow.

Down ran the wine into the road

Most piteous to be seen, Which made his horse's flanks to smoke

As they had basted been.

But still he seem'd to carry weight,

With leathern girdle braced, For all might see the bottle necks

Ştill dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington

These gambols he did play, And till 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
Her tender husband, wondering much

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 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,
So did he fly—which brings me to

The middle of my song.
Away went Gilpin, out of breath,

And sore against his will,
Till at his friend's the Callender's

His horse at last stood still.

The Callender amazed to see

His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,

And thus accosted him-
What news? what news? your tidings tell,

Tell me you must and shall —
Say why bare-headed you are come,

Or why you come at all ?

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit

And loved a timely joke,
And thus unto the Callender

In merry guise he spoke-
I came because your horse would come;

And if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,

They are upon the road.

The Callender, 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,
A hat not much the worse for wear,

Each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and in his turn

Thus show'd 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 upon your face ;
And stop and eat, for well you may

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 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,
And gallop'd off with all his might

As he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away

Went Gilpin's hat and wig ; He lost them sooner than at first,

For why? they were too big.


Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw

Her husband posting down Into the country far away,

She pull’d 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,
The frighted steed he frighted more

And made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away

Went post-boy at his heels, The post-boy's horse right glad to miss

The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road

Thus seeing Gilpin fly, With post-boy scampering in the rear,

They raised the hue and cry. Stop thief, stop thief—a highwayman !

Not one of them was mute, And all and each that pass’d that way

Did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again

Flew open in short space, The toll-men thinking as before

That Gilpin rode a race.

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