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· The entertaining and facetious History of John


To the Tune of · Chevy Chace.'
· John Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown;
A train-band captain eke was he

Of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear

• Though wedded we have been
• These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.

To-morrow is our wedding-day,

And we will then repair
• Unto the Bell at Edmonton,

• All in a chaise and pair.

• My sister and my sister's child,

• Myself and children three,
· Will fill the chaise; so you must ride

On horseback after we.'

He soon reply'd—“I do admire

• Of womankind but one;
• And you are she, my dearest dear,

Therefore it shall be done.

• I am a linen-draper bold,

• As all the world doth know;
• And my good friend, the callender,

« Will lend his horse to go.'

Quoth Mrs. Gilpin-" That's well said ;

• And, for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,
• Which is so bright and clear.'.

John Gilpin kissd his loving wife;

O’erjoy'd was he to find, · That, though on pleasure she was bent,

She had a frugal mind. I

The morning came, the chaise was brought,

But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was staid,

Where they did all get in,
Six precious souls, and all agog

To dash through thick and thin.

Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,

Were never folks so glad;
The stones did rattle underneath,

As if Cheapside were mad.

John Gilpin, at his horse's side

Seiz’d fast the flowing mane, And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again.

For saddle tree scarce reach'd had he, .

His journey to begin,
When, turning round his face, he saw -
Three customers come in.

So down he came; for loss of time,

Although it griev'd him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

Would grieve him still much more.

'Twas long before the customers 1

Were suited to their mind,
When Betty scream'd into his ears—

• The wine is left behind !'

• Good lack ! quoth he;' yet bring it me,

• My leathern belt likewise, • In which I bear my trusty sword

· When I do exercise.'

Now Mistress Gilpin-careful soul!

Had two stone-bottles found,
To hold the liquor which she lov’d,

And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle bad two curling ears,

Through which the belt he drew; He hung one bottle on each side,

To make his balance true.

Then over all, that he might be i

Equipp'd from top to toe, His long red cloak, well-brush'd and neat,

He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again

Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,

With caution and good heed.

But finding soon a smoother road

Beneath his well-shod feet, The snorting beast began to trot,

Which gall’d him in his seat.

So fair and softly;' John did cry,

But John he cry'd in vain; That trot became a gallop soon

In spite of curb or rein.

So stooping down, as he needs must

Who cannot sit upright, He grasp'd the mane with hoth his hands,

And eke with all his might.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought,

Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out,

Of running such a rig.

The horse, who never had before

Been handled in this kind, Affrighted fled; and, as he flew,

Left all the world behind.

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,

Like streamer long and gay; Till loop and button falling both,

At last it flew away.

Then might people well discern

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

As has been said or sung.

The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,

Up flew the windows all; And ev'ry soul cry'd out—" Well done!

As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin- Who but he!

His fame soon spread around "He carries weight—he rides a race !

• "Tis for a thousand pound !

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