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Now mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
Had two stone bottles found,
And keep it safe and sound.
Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
Then over all, that he might be
Equipped from top to toe, His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,
He manfully did throw.
Now see him mounted once aguin
Upon his nimble steed,
With caution and good heed.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet,
Which galled him in his seat.
But John he cried in vain;
In spite of curb and rein.
Vol. in. L
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright, He grasped the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
His horse who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Like streamer long and gay,
At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung;
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children screamed,
Up flew the windows all;
As loud as he could bawl.
His fame soon spread armind,
He carries weight! he rides a race!
'Tis for a thousand pound!
'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,
As they had basted been.
With leathern girdle braced;
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
To see how he did ride.
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 flew,
Shot by an archer strong;
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,
And thus accosted him :.
What news? what news? your tidings tell; Tell me you must and shall—
Say why bare-headed you are come,
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,
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus showed his ready wit,
They therefore needs must fit.
But let me scrape the dirt away,