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Away went Gilpin—who but he?
His fame soon spread around; "He carries weight!" "He rides a race!"
"'Tis for a thousand pound!"
And still, as fast as he drew near,
'Twas wonderful to view,
Their gates wide open threw.
And now, as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
Were shattered 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 seemed to carry weight,
For all might see the bottle-necks
Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did play, Until 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!
Full ten miles off, at Ware
So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong;
The middle of my song.
Away went Gilpin, out of breath,
And sore against his will,
His horse at last stood still.
The calender, amazed to see
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
"What news? what news? your tidings tell;
Tell me you must and shall— Say why bareheaded you are come, Or why you come at all?"
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And loved a timely joke; And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:
"I came because your horse would come,
And, if I well forebode,
They are upon the road."
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin, Returned him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
A wig that flowed behind,
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus showed his ready wit, "My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.
"But let me scrape the dirt away
And stop and eat, for well you may
Said John, "It is my wedding-day,
If wife should dine at Edmonton,
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
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw Her husband posting down
And thus unto the youth she said
"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,
The frighted steed he frighted more,
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 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;
He did again get down.
Now let us sing, Long live the king!
And Gilpin, long live he!
May I be there to see!
ADDED BY THE AUTHOR IN SUBSEQUENT EDITIONS OF HIS WORKS.
ON THE DEATH OF
Ye Nymphs, if e'er your eyes were red
Oh share Maria's grief!
Assassined by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among The egg was laid from which he sprung;
And though by nature mute, Or only with a whistle blessed, Well-taught, he all the sounds expressed
Of flageolet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,
His bosom of the hue
To sweep away the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
No cat had leave to dwell;
Large built and latticed well.
Well latticed,—but the grate, alas! Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake, But smooth with wands from Ouse's side, With which, when neatly peeled and dried,
The swains their baskets make.
Night veiled the pole; all seemed secure; When, led by instinct sharp and sure, Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout, Long backed, long tailed, with whiskered snout,
And badger-coloured hide.
He, entering at the study door,
And something in the wind Conjectured, sniffing round and round, Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.
Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
In sleep he seemed to view
Awoke and found it true.
For, aided both by ear and scent,
Ah, Muse! forbear to speak
He left poor Bully's beak.
Oh, had he made that too his prey!
Of such mellifluous tone,
Fast stuck within his own.
Maria weeps, —the Muses mourn ;—.
On Thracian Hebrus' side
The cruel death he died.
The rose had been washed, just washed in a shower,
Which Mary to Anna conveyed,
And weighed down its beautiful head.
The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet, And it seemed, to a fanciful view,
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drowned;
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
"And such," I exclaimed, "is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resigned!
"This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloomed with its owner awhile;
And the tear that is wiped with a little address
ODE TO APOLLO.
ON AN INK-GLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE SUN.
Patron of all those luckless brains
Indite much metre with much pains,
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,
That water all the nations,
In constant exhalations;
Why, stooping from the noon of day,
Too covetous of drink, Apollo, hast thou stolen away
A poet's drop of ink?
Upborne into the viewless air,
Impelled through regions dense and rare
Ordained, perhaps, ere summer flies,
To form an Ins in the skies,
Illustrious drop! and happy then
Beyond the happiest lot,
So soon to be forgot!
Phcebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
With equal grace below.