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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 bead full low,
Were shattered 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 seemed 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 be did play, Until he came unto the Wash
Or Edmonton so gay,
And there he threw the wash about
On both sides of the way, Just like unto a trundling map,
Or a wild goose at play.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
To see how he did ride.
Stop, stop, John Gilpint-Here's the house
They all aloud did cry:
Said Gilpin-So am 1,!.
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, Till at his friend the calender's
His horse at last stood still
The calender, amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,
And thus accosted him:
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 your horge would come;
And, if I well forebode,
They are upon the road,
The calender, right glad to find
His friend in inerry pin, Returned him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
A wig that flowed behind,
Each comely in its kind,
He held them up, and in bis ture
Thus showed 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 bere,
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.
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 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,
And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went post-boy at his heels,
The lumbering of the wheels.