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John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;
That though on pleasure she was bent,
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
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 Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side
Seized fast the flowing mane, And up he got, in haste to ride, But soon came down again;
For saddle-tree scarce reached had he,
When, turning round his head, he saw
So down he came; for loss of time,
'Twas long before the customers Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs, "The wine is left behind!"
"Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword,
Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul !)
Each bottle had a curling ear,
Then over all, that he might be
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,
Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
But finding soon a smoother road
"So, fair and softly," John, he cried,
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright,
He grasped the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
His horse, who never in that sort
What thing upon his back had got
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Then might all people well discern
The dogs did bark, the children screamed,
Up flew the windows all ;
And every soul cried out, "Well done!"
Away went Gilpin-who but he?
And still, as fast as he drew near,
And now, as he went bowing down
The bottles twain behind his back
Down ran the wine into the road,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke
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
And there he threw the wash about
Or a wild-goose at play.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
Her tender husband, wondering 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 tired:"
Away went Gilpin out of breath,
His horse at last stood still.
The calender, amazed to see
His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
And thus accosted him:
"What news? what news? your tidings tellTell me you must and shallSay why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all?"
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
"I came because your horse would come;
My hat and wig will soon be here-
The calender, right glad to find
But to the house went in.
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
A wig that flowed behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,
He held them up, and in his turn