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His very words,-my own boy's words,—oh, tell me

every one :
You little know how dear to his old mother is

my son."
“ Through Havelock's * fights and marches the goth Havelock. Sir

Henry Have. were there, In all the gallant goth did, your Robert had his share : of the great 15 Twice he went into Lucknow,* untouched by steel or ball; generals dur

ing the InAnd you may bless your God, old dame, that brought dian Muting him safe through all.”

Lucknow, “Oh, thanks unto the living God that heard his city on the mother's prayer,

tee, and capi. The widow's cry that rose on high her only son to spare ! tal of Oude, Oh, blessed be God, that turned from him the sword The British and shot away!

were shut up 20 And what to his old mother did my darling bid you say?"

building call. “Mother, he saved his colonel's life, and bravely it was sidency, and

surrounded In the despatch * they told it all, and named and praised bethe multiyour son ;

they had sufA medal and a pension's * his,—good luck to him I say,

great And he has not a comrade but will wish him well to-day. hardships,

they were re. 25 “Now, soldier, blessings on your tongue! O husband ! lieved firstby that you knew


the 23d of How well our boy pays me this day for all I have gone September, through,

and finally, All I have done and borne for him the long years

by Sir Colin since

Campbell, on you're dead !

the 17th of But, soldier, tell me how he looked, and all my Robert said.”

Despatch, the




ed the Re

done ;


fered many



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account of the battle

“He's bronzed * and tanned and bearded, and you'd sent by the hardly know him, dame;

to headquar30 We've made your boy into a man, but still his heart's ters. the same :

A pension, a

yearly sum of For often, dame, his talk's of you, and always to one tone ; money paid, But there ! his ship is nearly home, and he'll be with on



you soon."

to retired soldiers and others who

the state. He's bronzed,

“Oh, is he really coming home, and shall I really see
My boy again, my own boy home—and when, when will have served

it be? 35 Did you say soon?” “Well, he is home-keep cool, old the heat of

dame-he's here ! ” "O Robert ! my own blessèd boy !” “O mother, mother skin to turn

the sun had caused


dear !"


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JOHN GILPIN.—Cowper. WILLIAM COWPER (1731–1800), the most popular poet of his day, was born in Hertfordshire. He suffered during the greater part of his life from fits of insanity. Chief poems : The T'ask, Table-Talk, John Gilpin, &c.

JOHN Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown; Trainband, a com- A trainband * captain eke * was he pany of militia or

Of famous London town. men trained to act

soldiers. The trainbands of London John Gilpin’s spouse * said to her dear, 5 were mostlycomposed

“Though wedded we have been of apprentices.

These twice ten tedious * years, yet we Eke, also, besides. Spouse, a husband or No holiday have seen. wife. Tedious, long, tire- “ To-morrow is our wedding-day, some, wearisome. And we will then repair

IO Repair, to go to a place.

Unto the ‘Bell' at Edmonton, * Edmonton, a village

All in a chaise * and pair. to the north of Lon. don, where there is an inn with the sign

“My sister, and my sister's child, of a Bell,

Myself, and children three, Chaise, a light to

Will fill the chaise ; so you must ride wheeled carriage.

15 Here is doubt

On horseback after we." meant a carriage with four wheels, drawn by He soon replied, “I do admire two or more horses, Of womankind but one ; and used for the conveyance of people And you are she, my dearest dear, from one post or place Therefore it shall be done.

20 to another, After we is used for

“I am a linen-draper bold, the sake of the rhyme, instead of after us.

As all the world doth know, Calender or Calen- And my good friend, the calender, * derer, a cloth fin.

Will lend his horse to go.” isher. Quoth, said.

Quoth * Mrs. Gilpin, “That's well said ;

And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,

Which is both bright and clear.”
John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;

O'erjoyed was he to find,

That though on pleasure she was bent, Fyugal, sparing,

She had a frugal * mind. careful.

The morning came, the chaise was brought,

But yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, lest all

35 Should say that she was proud.

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So three doors off the chaise was stayed,

Where they did all get in ;
Six precious souls, and all agog

Agog, very eager, 40 To dash through thick and thin.

wishing very much,

Smack went the whip; round went the wheels ;

Were never folks so glad ;
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside * were mad.

Cheapside, one of the 45 John Gilpin at his horse's side

city of London, long

famous for its silk Seized fast the flowing mane,

mercers, And up he got, in haste to ride,

pers, and hosiers. But soon came down again.

For saddle-tree * scarce reached had he, Saddle-tree, the framo 50 His journey to begin,

When, turning round his head, he saw

Three customers come in.

chief streets of the


of a saddle.

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So down he came ; for loss of time,

Although it grieved him sore, * 55 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, 60 “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." *
65 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, 70 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,
75 His Iong red cloak, well brushed and neat,

He manfully did throw.

Good lack! or good

an exclamation of wonder, surprise, or admiratioc. When I do exercise, when he attended at drill with his company of militia.



Equipped, furnished, fitted out.

Nimble, being light and quick in motion.


Galled, wounded by rubbing.



Curb, a chain or strap fastened to the bit of a bridle, in order to check the horse when necessary.



In that sort, in that manner.


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 ;
The 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.
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!”

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Neck or nought, neck
or nothing, at the
risk of everything.
Wig, an artificial
covering of hair for
the head.
Rig, a piece of folly,
to do something out-
rageous, a wild prank.


Discern, see clearly.




Fame, renown, hay.
ing a great name.
He carries weight I-
meaning the stone
bottles at his belt.





pay toll.







And still, as fast as he drew near,

'Twas wonderful to view,
How in a trice* the turnpike men

Trice, a short time,

an instant. I 20 Their gates wide open threw.

Turnpike men, the

toll-keepers. A turnAnd now, as he went bowing down

pike is a gate put His reeking * head full low,

across a road to stop

those who have to The bottles twain * behind his back Were shattered at a blow.

Reeking, steaming.

Twain, two.
125 Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous * to be seen,

Piteous, causing pity.
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke,
As they had basted * been.

Baste, to pour fat


roasting. But still he seemed to carry weight 130 With leathern girdle braced ;

Braced, fastened. For all might see

the bottle necks Still dangling at his waist. Thus all through merry Islington

Islington, one of the

northern suburbs of These gambols he did play,

London. 135 Until he came unto the Wash

forms a part of the Of Edmonton so gay. And there he threw the Wash about,

On both sides of the way,

Just like unto a trundling mop, 140

Or a wild goose at play.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony * espied *

Balcony, a kind of
Her tender husband, wond'ring much

small gallery outside

a house. To see how he did ride.

Espied, saw. 145 “Stop, stop, John Gilpin !—Here's the house ! ”

They all at once did cry ;
“ The dinner waits, and we are tired ;”

Said Gilpin—“So am I!”
But yet his horse was not a whit*


Whit, the least bit. 150

Inclined to tarry there;
For why? His owner had a house
Full ten miles off, at Ware.*

Ware, a
Hertfordshire, on the

river Lea. So like an arrow swift he flew,

Shot by an archer strong ; 155 So did he fly-which brings me to

The middle of my song.





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