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He held them up, and in his turn

Thus shew'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 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,
The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away

Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss

The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road,

Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy 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.

And so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town;
Nor stopp'd till where he had got up

He did again get down.

Now let us sing, long live the king,

And Gilpin, long live he ;
And, when he next doth ride abroad,

May I be there to see!


[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 ;
O happiness! not to be found,

Unattainable treasure, adieu !

I have sought thee in splendour and dress,

In the regions of pleasure and taste;
I have sought thee, and seem'd to po ess,

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;
But rapture and bliss are confined

To the glorified spirits above.


AIR—The Lass of Patie's Mill.

When all within is peace,

How Nature seems to smile!
Delights that never cease,

The live-long day beguile.
From morn to dewy eve,

With open hand she showers
Fresh blessings to deceive

And sooth the silent hours.

It is content of heart

Gives Nature power to please ;
The mind that feels no smart,

Enlivens all it sees ;
Can make a wintry sky

Seem bright as smiling May,
And evening's closing eye

As peep of early day.

The vast majestic globe,

So beauteously array'd
In Nature's various robe,

With wondrous skill display'd,
Is to a mourner's heart

A dreary wild at best ;
It flutters to depart,

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,
The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flower,

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,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart

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.


[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 :
My shrubs displaced from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air ;
Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song
Had been their mutual solace long,

Lived happy prisoners there.

They sang, as blithe as finches sing,
That flutter loose on golden wing,

And frolic where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And therefore never miss'd.

But Nature works in every breast';
Instinct is never quite suppress'd;

And Dick felt some desires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pass between his wires.

The open window seem'd to invite
The freeman to a farewell fight ;

But Tom was still confined ;

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