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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 nende
He manfully did throw.
Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed,
With caution and good heed.
Beneath his well shod feet, The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall'd him in his seat.
So fair and softly, John he cried,
But John he cried in vain,
In spite of curb and rein.
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 sort
Had handled been before,
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or naught;
Away went hat and wig ;
Of running such a rig.
Like streamer long and gay,
At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung;
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
Up flew the windows all;
As loud as he could bawl.
Away went Gilpin—who but he ?
His fame soon spread around,
"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,
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 smo se
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, 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 mod
Or a wild goose at play.
At Edmonton his loving wifu
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;
Said Gilpin-So am I!
But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclin'd 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, amaz'd to see
His neighbour in such trim,
And thus accosted him :
What news? what news? your tidings tell},
Tell me you must and shallSay why bareheaded you are come,
Or why you come at all ?
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And lov'd a timely joke; And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke:
I came because your horse would come
And, if I well forbode,
They are upon the road.
The calender right glad to find
His friend in merry pin, Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in:
Whence straight he came with hat and wig
A wig that flow'd behind,
Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in its turn
Thus show'd 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,