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What news? what news? your tidings tell;
Tell me you must and shall-
Say why bare-headed 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 callender
In merry guise he spoke:
I came because your horse would come;
And, if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,
They are upon the road.
The callender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence strait 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 your's,
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.
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 your's 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 post-boy at his heels!
The post-boy's horse right glad to miss
The lumb'ring of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With post-boy scamp'ring in the rear,
They 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 first 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!
A RECEIPT TO MAKE A LOVE-LETTER.
A pointed dart with anguish tipt,
A cup of poison, take;*
An opening bud, untimely nipt,
A victim at a rack,
A bleeding heart, a vestal flame,
A mind in deep despair,
A thousand tortures without name,
And sigh out, Killing Fair!
Each look that faintly speaks disdain,
A flash of lightning call;
And should she give denial plain,
Be that a thunder ball.
Ten thousand oaths, all well apply'd,
Must, here in course be ta'en;-
Tho' they're all meant to be bely'd,
And taken o'er again.
Swear that her eyes are two bright stars,
Her cheeks exceed the rose,
And purer white than lily bears
Ön her soft bosom flows.
Her lips must crimson velvet be,
And silver all her teeth;
Sweeter than any nutmeg tree
Must be her spicy breath.
The sun must be as cold as ice,
When with your flame compar'd;
Nay, light be darkness in a trice,
If she but speak the word.
Then, you must break your heart in two;—
Send her the better half:-
She'll, may be, say 'tis something new,
And condescend to laugh:
And when she laughs the sun must shine
With an enlivening ray;—
Her smile be brightness all divine,
A perfect summer's day.
Let daggers, poisons, blood, and death,
Fill every other line;
Between them let the gentle breath
Of soft persuasion shine.
First talk of love, and then the grave,
Of racks and woodbine bow'rs;
Now swear, now praise, kiss, weep, and rave;
In time she must be yours.