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His horse, who never in that scrt
Had handled been before,
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Like streamer long and gay,
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung ;
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
Up flew the windows all ; And
every soul cried out, Well done! As loud as he could bawl.
Away went Gilpin--who but he ?
His fame soon spread around,
'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,
Were shatter'd at a blow.
Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous to be seen, Which made his horse's ftanks to smoke
As they had basted been.
But still he seem'd to carry weight,
With leathern girdle braced ; For all might see the bottle necks
Still dangling at his waist.
Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did play, Until 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
To see how he did ride.
Stop, stop, John Gilpin !-Here's the house!
They all at once did cry;
Said Gilpin-So am I !
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 neighbour in such trim,
What news ? what news ? your tidings tell;
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
horse would come; And, if I well forebode, 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,
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in his turn
Thus show'd his ready wit,
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 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,
As he had done before.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin's hat and wig:
For why?-they were too big.