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He held them up, and in his turn
Thus shew'd his ready wit,
« But let me scrape
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,
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 Mrs 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 à 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 postboy 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; The toll-men thinking as before,
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!
SONG ON PEACE.
[This and the following were composed at the request of Lady
Austen in the summer of 1783.]
Air — " My fond shepherds of late,” &c. .
No longer I follow a sound ;
No longer a dream I pursue ;
Unattainable treasure, adieu !
I have sought thee in splendour and dress,
In the regions of pleasure and taste;
But have proved thee a vision at last.
An humble ambition and hope
The voice of true wisdom inspires ; 'Tis sufficient, if Peace be the scope,
And the summit of all our desires.
Peace may be the lot of the mind
That seeks it in meekness and love;
To the glorified spirits above.
AIR—“ The Lass of Patie's Mill.”
When all within is peace,
How Nature seems to smile!
The live-long day beguile.
With open hand she showers
And sooth the silent hours.
It is content of heart
Gives Nature power to please ;
Enlivens all it sees ;
Seem bright as smiling May,
As peep of early day.
The vast majestic globe,
So beauteously array'd
With wondrous skill display'd,
A dreary wild at best ;
And longs to be at rest.
[Published in the Gentleman's Magazine for August, 1785, but written in June, 1783. The domestic trait so beautifully touched in this little piece occurred on a Wednesday evening, when the Poet, on returning from a walk, rashly, as he describes, snapped the dewy flower which Mrs Unwin had just presented to Lady Austen.]
The rose had been wash’d, just washid in a shower,
Which Mary to Anna convey'd,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
The cup was all filld, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seem'd to a fanciful view, To weep
for the buds it had left with regret, On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas !
I snapp'd it - it fell to the ground.
And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resign'd.
This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloom'd with its owner a while ; And the tear, that is wiped with a little address,
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
THE FAITHFUL FRIEND.
[Written in August, 1783, on a circumstance described with equal felicity in prose in the Poet's letters of that date. In the title the author writes sometimes bird, sometimes friend.]
The greenhouse is my summer seat :
Enjoy'd the open air ;
Lived happy prisoners there.
They sang, as blithe as finches sing,
And frolic where they list;
And therefore never miss'd.
But Nature works in every breast';
And Dick felt some desires,
A pass between his wires.
The open window seem'd to invite
But Tom was still confined ;