51 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 ;

52 Whereat his horse did snort as he

Had heard a lion roar,
And gallopp'd off with all his might,

As he had done before.

53 Away went Gilpin, and away

Went Gilpin's hat and wig ;
He lost them sooner than at first,

For why?— they were too big.

54 Now, Mistress Gilpin, when she saw

Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,

She pulld out half-a-crown.

55 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.

56 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 ;

57 But, not performing what he meant,

And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.

58 Away went Gilpin, and away

Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss

The lumbering of the wheels.

59 Six gentlemen upon the road

Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear,

They raised the hue and cry :

60 Stop thief! stop thief !-a highwayman !

Not one of them was mute ;
And all and each that pass'd that way

Did join in the pursuit.

61 And now the turnpike gates again

Flew open in short space,
The tollmen thinking, as before,

That Gilpin rode a race.

62 And so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town ;
Nor stopp'd till where he had got up

He did again get down.

63 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 !


1 REASONING at every step he treads,

Man yet mistakes his way ; While meaner things, whom instinct leads,

Are rarely known to stray.

2 One silent eve I wander'd late,

And heard the voice of love ; The turtle thus address'd her mate,

And soothed the listening dove :

3 Our mutual bond of faith and truth

No time shall disengage;
Those blessings of our early youth

Shall cheer our latest age :

4 While innocence without disguise,

And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,

And mine can read them there :

5 Those ills that wait on all below

Shall ne'er be felt by me,
Or gently felt, and only so,

As being shared with thee.

6 When lightnings flash among the trees,

Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,

And know no other fear.

7 'Tis then I feel myself a wife,

press thy wedded side,
Resolved a union form'd for life,

Death never shall divide.

8 But oh ! if, fickle and unchaste

(Forgive a transient thought), Thou couldst become unkind at last,

And scorn thy present lot,

9 No need of lightnings from on high,

Or kites with cruel beak;
Denied the endearments of thine eye,

This widow'd heart would break.

10 Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,

Soft as the passing wind;
And I recorded what I heard,

A lesson for mankind.


A RAVEN, while with glossy breast
Her new-laid eggs she fondly press’d,
And on her wicker-work high mounted,
Her chickens prematurely counted,
(A fault philosophers might blame
If quite exempted from the same),
Enjoy'd at ease the genial day;
'Twas April, as the bumpkins say,
The legislature callid it May.

2 B


But suddenly a wind as high
As ever swept a winter sky,
Shook the young leares about her ears,
And fill d her with a thousand fears,
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather
And all her fears were hush'd together :
And now, quoth poor unthinking Ralph,
'Tis over, and the brood is safe ;
(For ravens, though, as birds of omen,
They teach both conjurors and old women
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy themselves, at all.)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destined all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.


'Tis Providence alone secures
In every change both mine and yours;
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape;
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair ;
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread,
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.

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