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VI.-Facetious History of John Gilpin.
JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown;
A train band captain eke was he,
Offamous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear-
"Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
Tomorrow is our wedding day,
And we shall then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.
'My sister and my sister's child,
Myself and children three,
Will fill the chaise, so you must ride
On horseback after we.
He soon replied "I do admire
Of woman kind but one;
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done.
I am a linen draper bold,
As all the world doth know;
And my good friend, Tom Callender,
Will lend his horse to go."
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin-" That's well said;
And, for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,
Which is both bright and clear."
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
O'erjoy'd was he to find,
That though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,
Where they did all get in;
Six precious souls; and all agog,
To dash through thick and thin!
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folks so glad;
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapsid vere mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side,
Seiz'd fast the flowing mane,
He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
His horse, who never had before
Been handled in this kind,
Affrighted fled; and as he flew,
Left all the world behind.
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:
A bottle swinging at each side,
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,',
Up flew the windows all;
And every soul cri'd out, "Well done!"
As loud as they 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,
How in a trice the turnpike men.
Their gates wide open threw..
And now as he went bowing down
His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back,
Were shatter'd 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 seem'd to carry weight,
With leathern girdle brac'd;
For all might see the bottle necks
Still dangling at his waist.
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
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 !"
"What news? What news? Your tidings tell Make haste and tell me all !
And stop and eat-for well you may
Be in a hungry case!"
Said John-"It is my wedding day
And folks would gape and 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 if
He heard a lion roar ;
And gallop'd off with all his might,
As he had done before.