My sister and my sister's child, myself and children three, Will till the chaise; so you must ride on horseback after we.”

He soon replied, “I do admire, of womankind, but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear, therefore it shall be done.
I ain a linen-draper bold, as all the world doth know;
And my good friend, the calender, will lend his horse to


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, she had a frugal mind.

The morning came, the chaise was brought, but yet was not

allowed To drive up to the door, lest all should say that she was

proud. So three doors off the chaise was stayed, where they did all

get in,Six precious souls, -and all agog to dash through thick and


Smack went the whip, round went the wheels; were never

folks so glad ; The stones did rattle underneath, as if Cheapside were mad. John Gilpin, at his horse's side, seized fast the flowing mane, And up he got, in haste to ride, but soon came down again:

For saddle-tree scarce reached had he, his journey to begin, When, turning round his head, he saw three customers come

in. So down he came; for loss of time, although it grieved him

sore, 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, “ The wine is left

behind!“Good lack !” quoth he; yet bring it me, my leathern belt

likewise, In which I wear my trusty sword, when I do exercise.

Now Mrs. Gilpin (careful soul!) had two stone bottles found, To hold the liquor that she loved, and keep it safe and sound,

Each hottle 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 equipped from top to toe, His long red cloak, well brushed and neat, he manfully did

throw. 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; T'he 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


Away went Gilpin, neck or naught; away went hat and wig: He little dreamed, 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 win.

dows all, And every soul cried out “Well done!” as loud as he could


Away went Gilpin. who but he! his fame soon spread around, "He 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 threw. And now, as he went bowing down his reeking head ful?

low, The bottles twain, behind his back, were shattered at e. Down ran the wine into the road, most piteous to be seen, Which made his horse's flanks to smoke, as they had basted



But still he seemed to carry weight, with leather girdle braced; For all might see the bottle-necks still dangling at his waist. Thus all through merry Islington these gambols he did play, And till 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-mop, or a wild goose at play. At Edmonton his loving wife, from the balcony, spied Her tender husband, wondering much to see how he did


did cry;

“Stop, stop, John Gilpin! here's the house!” they all aloud "The dinner waits, and we are tired!” Said Gilpin, “So But yet his horse was not a whit inclined to tarry there; For why? his owner had a house, full ten miles off, at Ware.

am I!

So like an arrow swift he flew, shot by an archer strong,
So did he fly-which brings me to 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


The calender, amazed to see his friend in such a trim, Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, and thus accosted him: * What news? What news? Your tidings tell! Tell me you

must and shall ! Say, why bare-headed you are come? or why you come at

all ?"

Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit, and loved a timely joke; And thus unto the calender, in merry guise, he spoke; “I came because your horse would come; and, if I well fore.

bode, My hat and wig will soon be here; they are upon the road!"

The calender, right glad to find his friend in merry pin; Returned him not a single word, but to the house went in; Whence straight he came with hat and wig, -a wig that

flowed behind, A hat not much the worse for wear, - each comely in its lle held them up, and in his turn thus showed his ready


wit,“My head is twice as big as yours: they, therefore, needs

must fit. But let 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


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 galloped 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 pulled out half a crown;

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 Away went Gilpin, and away went postboy at his heels; The postboy's horse right glad to miss the lumbering of the



Six gentlemen upon the road, thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear, they raised the hue

and cry:

“Stop thief! Stop thief!-a highwayman!”-not one of them

was mute, And all and each that passed that way did join in the pur


And now the turnpike gates again flew open in short space,
The tollmen thinking, as before, that Gilpin rode a race.
And so he did, and won it too, for he got first to town,
Nor stopped 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.


Here rest the great and good. Here they repose
After their generous toil. A sacred band,
They take their sleep together, while the year
Comes with its early flowers to deck their graves,
And gathers them again, as Winter frowns.
Theirs is no vulgar sepulchre-green sods
Are all their monument, and yet it tells
A nobler history than pillared piles,
Or the eternal pyramids.

They need
No statue nor inscription to reveal
Their greatness. It is round them; and the joy
With which their children tread the hallowed ground
That holds their venerated bones, the peace
That smiles on all they fought for, and the wealth
That clothes the land they rescued—these, though muto
As feeling ever is when deepest-these
Are monuments more lasting than the fanes
Reared to the kings and demigods of old.
Touch not the ancient elms, that bend their shade
Over their lowly graves; beneath their boughs
There is a solemn darkness even at noon,
Suited to such as visit at the shrine
Of serious Liberty. No factious voice
Called them unto the field of generous fame,
But the pure consecrated love of home.
No deeper feeling sways us, when it wakes

« ElőzőTovább »