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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 bear my trusty sword,

When I do exercise.

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.

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;
That 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.

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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 balcony espied
Her tender husband, wondering much

To see how he did ride.

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

They all at once did cry;
The dinner waits, and we are tired :

Said 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's the calender's

His horse at last stood still.

The calender, amazed to see

His neighbor 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 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, 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 kind.

He 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 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 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.

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