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For saddle-tree scarce reach'd bad be,

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 griev'd him fore;
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 lov'd,

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

Equipp'd from top to toe, His long red cloak, well brush'd and neat, He manfully did throw.

Now fee him mounted once again

Upon his nimble steed,
Full flowly pacing o'er the stones

With caution and good heed !

But, fioding soon a smoother road

Beneath his well-thod feet, The snorting beast began to trot,

Which gall’d him in his feat.

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 grasp'd the mane with both his hands;

And eke with all his might.

His horse, who never in that fort

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 fet out,

Of running such a rig!

The wind did blow, the cloke 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 sung;
A bottle swinging at each side,

As hath been said or fung.

The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,

Up flew the windows all ;
And ev'ry soul cried out-Well done!

As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin-who but he?

His fame foon spread aroundHe carries weight! he rides a race !

'Tis for a thousand pound!

And ftill, 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 Thatter'd 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 seem'd to carry weight,

With leathern girdle brac'd; For all might see the bottle-necks

Still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington

These gambols he did play, And till 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, wond'ring 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 tir'd:

Said Gilpin-So am I!

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