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Full slowly pacing o'er the stones
With caution and good heed.
But finding foon a smoother road
Beneath his well-fhod feet, The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall’d him in his feat.
So, Fair and softly, John he cried,
But John he cried in vain,
In spite of curb and rein.
Who cannot fit upright,
And eke with all his might.
His horse, who never in that fort,
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 ;
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 flung; A bottle swinging at each side,
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
Up flew the windows all ;
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 !
Bnd 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 full low,
The bottles twain behind his back
Were shatter'd at a blow.
Down ran the wine into the road,
Most piteous to be seen,
As they had bafted been.
But still he feem'd to carry weight,
With leathern girdle brac'd ; 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 fo gay.
At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony spied
To see how he did ride.
Stop, stop, John Gilpin !-Here's the house
They all at once did cry;
Said Gilpin-So am I.
But yet his horse was not a whit
Inclin'd to tarry there;
Full ten miles off, at Ware.
So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong ;
The middle of my song.
Away went Gilpin, out of breath,
And fore against his will, Till at his friend's the Callender's
His horse at last stood foill.
The Callender, 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 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 lov'd a timely joke; And thus unto the Callender
In merry guise he spoke :
I came because your horse would come ;
And, if I well forebode,
They are upon the road.
The Callender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin, Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in;
Whence strait he came with hat and wig,
A wig that flow'd behind,
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.