Page images

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 see him mounted once again

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

With caution and good heed !

But, finding 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 sogn,

In spite of curb and rein.

[ocr errors]

So, stooping down, as needs he must

Who cannot fit 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 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 difcern

The bottles he had slung; 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 soon spread aroundHe 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


And now, as he went bowing down

His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back

Were shatter'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 Inington

These gambols he did play, And till he came unto the Wash

Of Edmonton fo 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!

But yet

his horse was not a whit

Inclin'd to tarry there;
For why ?--his owner had a house

Full ten miles off, at Ware.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »