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,
How in a trice the turnpike-men

Their gates wide open threw.

And now, as he went bowing down

His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back

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,
With leathern girdle braced;

For all might see the bottle-necks
Still dangling at his waist.

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!
For why?—his owner had a house

Full ten miles off, at Ware

So like an arrow swift he flew,

Shot by an archer strong;
So did he fly—which brings me to

The middle of my song.

Away went Gilpin, out of breath,

And sore against his will,
Till at his friend the calender's

His horse at last stood still.

The calender, amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,

Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
And thus accosted him:

"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,
My hat and wig will soon be here,—

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,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
Each comely in its kind.

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
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 galloped 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 Mistress 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,

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 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 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!




Ye Nymphs, if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,

Oh share Maria's grief!
Her favourite, even in his cage
(What will not hunger's cruel rage ?)

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
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise

To sweep away the dew.

Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,

No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,

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,
Its ample area 'gan explore;

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,
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest;

In sleep he seemed to view
A rat fast clinging to the cage,
And screaming at the sad presage,

Awoke and found it true.

For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went,—

Ah, Muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrors that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was

He left poor Bully's beak.

Oh, had he made that too his prey!
That beak, whence issued many a lay

Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,

Fast stuck within his own.

Maria weeps, —the Muses mourn ;—.
So, when by Bacchanalians torn,

On Thracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell,
His head alone remained to tell

The cruel death he died.


The rose had been washed, just washed in a shower,

Which Mary to Anna conveyed,
The plentiful moisture encumbered the flower,

And weighed down its beautiful head.

The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet, And it seemed, 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 drowned;

And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
I snapped it—it fell to the ground.

"And such," I exclaimed, "is the pitiless part

Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart

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
May be followed perhaps by a smile."



Patron of all those luckless brains
That, to the wrong side leaning,

Indite much metre with much pains,
And little or no meaning:

Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,

That water all the nations,
Pay tribute to thy glorious beams,

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,
It floats a vapour now,

Impelled through regions dense and rare
By all the winds that blow.

Ordained, perhaps, ere summer flies,
Combined with millions more,

To form an Ins in the skies,
Though black and foul before.

Illustrious drop! and happy then

Beyond the happiest lot,
Ol all that ever passed my pen,

So soon to be forgot!

Phcebus, if such be thy design,

To place it in thy bow,
Give wit, that what is left may shine

With equal grace below.

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