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So, Fair and softly, John he cried,
But John he cried in vain, That trot became a gallop soon
In spite of curb and rein.
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright, He grasped the mane with both his hands
And eke with all his mi^'it.
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, Till loop and button failing both,
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.
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, And till 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.
Stop, stop, John Gilpin !—Here's the house
They all at once did cry,
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 Callender amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,
And thus accosted him—
What news? what news? your tidings tell,
Say why bare-headed you are come,
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit
And loved a timely joke, And thus unto the Callender
In merry guise he spoke—
I came because your horse would come;
And if I well forebode,
They are upon the road.
The Callender, 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, —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;
Be in a hungry case.
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,
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 ho 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,
My husband safe and well.
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
Whom in a trice he tried to stop
But not performing what he meant,
The frighted steed he frighted more,
Away went Gilpin, and away
The post-boy's horse right glad to miss
Six gentlemen upon the road
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
They raised the hue and cry.
Stop thief, stop thief—a highwayman!
Not one of them was mute,
Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again
The toll-men thinking as before
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!
THE DISTRESSED TRAVELLERS;
OR, LABOUR IN VAIN.
AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG, TO A TUNE NEVER SUNG BEFORE.
I Sing of a journey to Clifton,
We would have performed if we could,
Poor Mary and me through the mud;