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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,

Which made his horse's flanks to smoke

As they had basted been.

But still he seem'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,

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.

At Edmonton his loving wife

From the balcony spied

Her tender husband, wond'ring much

To see how he did ride.

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Stop, stop, John Gilpin!-Here's the house

They all aloud did cry;

The dinner waits, and we are tir'd:

Said Gilpin-So am I!

But yet his horse was not a whit

Inclin❜d to tarry there;

For why?—his owner had a house

Full ten miles off, at Ware.

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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 still.

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The calender, 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 bareheaded 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 calender

In merry guise he spoke:"

I came because your horse would come:
And, if I well forebode,

My hat and wig will soon be here,

They are upon the road.

The calender, right glad to find

His friend in merry pin,

Return'd him not a single word,

But to the house went in;

When straight he came with hat and wig;

A wig that flow'd behind,

A hat not much the worse for wear,

Each comely in it's kind.

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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.

But let me scrape the dirt away,
That hangs upon your face;

And stop and eat, for well you may

Be in an 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 mine.

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