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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, wond'ring 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 tir'd:"

Said Gilpin, "So am I!"

But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclin❜d 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, amaz'd 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 lov'd a timely joke;

And thus unto the calender

In merry guise he spoke :

66

"I came because

your

horse would come;

And, if I well forbode,

My hat and wig will soon be here-
They are upon the road."

The calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in;

Whence straight he came with hat and wig, A wig that flow'd behind;

A hat not much the worse for wear

Each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and, in his turn,
Thus shew'd 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 gallop'd 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,

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Now mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down

Into the country far away,

She pull'd 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 lumb'ring of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,

With postboy scamp'ring in the rear,
Thus rais'd the hue and cry:

"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.

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 stopp'd 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!

COWPER.

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