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lock was one
His very words,-my own boy's words,—oh, tell me
every one :
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.”
ed the Re
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
to retired soldiers and others who
the state. He's bronzed,
“Oh, is he really coming home, and shall I really see
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
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,
Which is both bright and clear.”
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
35 Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
Where they did all get in ;
Agog, very eager, 40 To dash through thick and thin.
wishing very much,
Were never folks so glad ;
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.
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,
When I do exercise." *
Had two stone bottles found,
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.
Equipped * from top to toe,
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,
With caution and good heed.
Beneath his well-shod feet,
Which galled * him in his seat.
But John he cried in vain ;
In spite of curb * and rein.
Who cannot sit upright,
And eke with all his might.
Had handled been before,
Did wonder more and more.
Away went hat and wig ;
Of running such a rig.*
Like streamer long and gay,
At last it flew away.
The bottles he had slung;
As hath been said or sung.
Up flew the windows all;
As loud as he could bawl.
His fame soon spread around;
'Tis for a thousand pound!”
Neck or nought, neck
Discern, see clearly.
Fame, renown, hay.
And still, as fast as he drew near,
'Twas wonderful to view,
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.
Piteous, causing pity.
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.
Balcony, a kind of
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 ;
Said Gilpin—“So am I!”
Whit, the least bit. 150
Inclined to tarry there;
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.