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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
To see how he did ride.
“Stop, stop, John Gilpin ! — Here's the house!” 145
They all at once did cry;
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 calender, amazed to see
His neighbor in such trim,
And thus accosted him:
“What news ? what news? your tidings tell; 165
Tell me you must and shall
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 forbode,
They are upon the road.”
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,
And all the world would stare, If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And 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;
Did sing most loud and clear;
Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Had heard a lion roar,
As he had done before.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin's hat and wig;
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,
And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,
The lumbering of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
They raised the hue and cryo:
“Stop thief! stop thief - a highwayman!”
Not one of them was mute;
Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;
That Gilpin rode a race.
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 seeo!
ON THE GRASSHOPPER
HAPPY songster, perched above, On the summit of the grove, Whom a dew drop cheers to sing, With the freedom of a king.