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THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN. 189

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His sword was in the sheath;

His fingers held the pen,
When Kempenfelt went down

With twice four hundred men,
Weigh the vessel up,

Once dreaded by our foes
And mingle with our cup

The tears that England owes.
Her timbers yet are sound,

And she may float again,
Full charged with England's thunder,

And plough the distant main.
But Kempenfelt is gone,

His victories are o’er;
And He and His Eight Hundred

Must plough the wave no more.

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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.

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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 thin.

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Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,

Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,

As if Cheapside were mad.

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'Twas long before the customers

Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs,

"The wine is left behind !

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‘Good lack !' quoth he, 'yet bring it me,

My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise.'

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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,

Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,

To make his balance true.

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Then over all, that he might be

Equipped from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,

He manfully did throw.

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Now see him mounted once again

Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,

With caution and good heed.

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But finding soon a smoother road

Beneath his well shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,

Which galled him in his seat.

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So, “Fair and softly,' John he cried,

But John he cried in vain; That trot became a gallop soon,

In spite of curb and rein.

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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.

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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.

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Away went Gilpin-who but he ?

His fame soon sprea around;
'He carries weight !' 'He rides a race !'

'Tis for a thousand pound !'

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115

And still, as fast as he drew near,

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

Their gates wide open threw.

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And now, as he went bowing down

His reeking head full low,
The bottles twain behind his back

Were shattered at a blow.

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Down ran the wine into the road,

Most piteous to be seen,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke

As they had basted been.

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But still he seemed to carry weight,

With leathern girdle braced;
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;

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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.
VOL. I.

140

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