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Stop, stop, John Gilpin !—Here's the house
They all aloud did cry;
The dinner waits, and we are tired:
Says Gilpin-so am I!
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.
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.
The calender, amazed 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 loved a timely joke;
And thus unto the calender
In merry guise he spoke :
I came because
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 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.
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 mine.
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 gallop'd 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 pull'd 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 run.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss
The lumbering of the wheels.
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 pass'd that way
Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking as before,
That Gilpin rode a race.
And so he did, and won it too,
For he got first to town;
Nor stopp'd 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!
TITHING-TIME AT STOCK IN ESSEX.
VERSES ADDRESSED TO A COUNTRY CLERGYMAN, COMPLAIN-
ING OF THE DISAGREEABLENESS OF THE DAY ANNUALLY
APPOINTED FOR RECEIVING THE DUES AT THE PARSON-
COME, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong;
The troubles of a worthy priest
The burden of my song.
The priest he merry is and blithe
Three quarters of the year,
But oh! it cuts him like a scythe
When tithing-time draws near.
He then is full of frights and fears,
As one at point to die,
And long before the day appears
He heaves up many a sigh.
For then the farmers come, jog, jog,
Along the miry road,
Each heart as heavy as a log,
To make their payments good.
In sooth the sorrow of such days
Is not to be express'd,
When he that takes and he that pays
Are both alike distress'd.
Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight,
With rueful faces and bald pates-
He trembles at the sight.
And well he may, for well he knows
Each bumpkin of the clan,
Instead of paying what he owes,
Will cheat him if he can.
So in they come—each makes his leg,
And flings his head before,
And looks as if he came to beg,
And not to quit a score.
"And how does miss and madam do, The little boy and all?'
All tight and well. And how do you, Good Mr. What-d'ye-call?'
The dinner comes, and down they sit:
Were e'er such hungry folk?
There's little talking, and no wit;
It is no time to joke.