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John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;
O'erjoyed 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 allowed

To drive up to the door, lest all

Should say that she was proud.

So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
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 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,
His journey to begin,

When, turning round his head, he saw
Three customers come in.

So down he came; for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore;
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
Would trouble him much more.

'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,
When I do exercise."

Now Mistress Gilpin (careful soul !)
Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,
And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew,
And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.

Then over all, that he might be
Equipped from top to toe,

His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,
He manfully did throw.

Now see him mounted once again

Upon his nimble steed,

Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
With caution and good heed.

But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,
Which galled him in his seat.

"So, fair and softly," John, he cried,
But John he cried in vain :
That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.

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.

R

His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,

What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out
Of running such a rig.

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 screamed,

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;
"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 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 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

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:"

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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,

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,
And loved a timely joke;
And thus unto the calender
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 calender, right glad to find
His friend in merry 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,

A hat not much the worse for wear,
Each comely in its kind.

He held them up, and in his turn
Thus showed his ready wit,
"My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.

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