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JOHN GILPIN.

The calender, amaz'd to see
His neighbour in such trim,

Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
And thus accosted him:

What news? what news? your tidingstell;
Tell me you must and shall—

Say 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,

My hat and wig will soon be here,
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, -

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

He held them up, and in his turn
Thus show’d his ready wit,
My head is twice as big as yours,
They therefore needs must fit.
W01, I. 25°

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Butlet me scrape the dirt away,
That hangs upon your face;

And stop and eat, for well you may
Be in a hungry case.

Said John it is my wedding-day,
And all the world would stare,

If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I should dine at Ware.

So turning to his horse, he said,
I am in haste to dine ;

*Twas for your pleasure you came here,
You shall go back for mine.

Ah luckless speech, and bootless boast!
For which he paid full dear;

For, while he spake, a braying ass
Did sing most loud and clear;

Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Had heard a lion roar,

And gallopp'd off with all his might,
As he had done before.

Away went Gilpin, and away
Went Gilpin's hat and wig :

. He lost them sooner than at first,

For why?—they were too big.

Now mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,
She pull'd out half a crown;

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JOHN GILPIN. 283

And thus unto the youth she said,
That drove them to the Bell,

This shall be yours, when you bring back
My husband safe and well.

The youth did ride and soon did meet
John coming back amain;

Whom in a trice he tried to stop,
By catching at his rein;

But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,

The frighted steed he frighted more,
And made him faster run.

Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,

The postboy’s horse right glad to miss
The lumb’ring of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,

With postboy scamp'ing in the rear,
They rais’d the hue and cry:-

Stop thief! stop thief!—a highwayman!
Not one of them was mute;

And all and each that pass'd that way
Didjoin in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;

The toll-men thinking as before,
That Gilpin rode a race.

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And so he did, and won it too,

, For he got first to town;

Nor stopp'd till where he had got up He did again get down.

Now let us sing, long live the king,
And Gilpin long live he;

And, when he next doth ride abroad,
May I be there to see!

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AN EPISTLE.
To *

AN AFFLICTED PROTESTANT LADY IN FRANCE.

Madam,

A STRANGER'S purpose in these lays
Is to congratulate, and not to praise.
To give the creature the Creator’s due
Were sin in me, and an offence to you.
From man to man, or e'en to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by craft for folly's use design'd,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.

. The path of sorrow, and that path alone, Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown; No trav’ller ever reach'd that blest abode, Who found not thorns and briers in his road. The World may dance along the flow’ry plain, Cheer'd as they goby many a sprightly strain, Where Nature has her mossy velvet spread, With unshod feet they yet securely tread, Admonish'd, scorn the caution and the friend, Bent all on pleasure, heedless of its end. But he, who knew what human hearts would prove, How slow to learn the dictates of his love, That, hard by nature and of stubborn will, A life of ease would make them harder still,

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