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And still, as fast as he drew near,
'Twas wonderful to view How in a trice the turnpike men
Their gates wide open threw.
His reeking head full low,
Were shattered at a blow.
Most piteous to be seen,
As they had basted been.
With leathern girdle braced ;
Still dangling at his waist.
These gambols he did play,
Of Edmonton so gay;
On both sides of the way,
Or a wild goose at play.
From the balcony spied
To see how he did ride.
Stop, stop, John Gilpin !---Here's the house--
They all aloud did cry;
Said Gilpin---So am I!
Inclined to tarry there;
Full ten miles off, at Ware.
So like an arrow swift he few,
Shot by an archer strong ;
The middle of my song.
And sore against his will,
His horse at last stood still.
The calender, amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,
And thus accosted him :
Tell me you must and shall---
Or why you come at all ?
And loved a timely joke;
In merry guise he spoke:
And, if I well forebode,
They are upon the road.
His friend in merry pin,
But to the house went in;
A wig that flowed behind,
Each comely in its kind.
Thus showed his ready wit,
But let me scrape the dirt away,
That hangs about your face;
Be in a hungry case.
And all the world would stare
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 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 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 passed 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 stopped till where he bad got up,
He did again get down.
Now let us sing, long live the king
And Gilpin, long live he;
May I be there to see!
TO A PROTESTANT LADY IN FRANCE.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,