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Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language utter'd in a dream;
Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,
Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,
For, could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me,
Partakers of thy sad decline,
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet gently press'd, press gently mine,
Such feebleness of limbs thou provest,
That now, at every step thou movest,
Upheld by two; yet still thou lovest,
And still to love, though press'd with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,
But ah! by constant heed I know,
How oft the sadness that I show,
Transforms thy smiles to looks of wo,
And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last,
A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,
Had once his integrity put to the test;
His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,
And ask'd him to go and assist in the job.
He was shock’d, sir, like you, and answer'd—“Oh, no
What! rob our good neighbor? I pray you don't go
Besides, the man's poor, his orchard's his bread,
Then think of his children, for they must be fed."
" You speak very fine, and you look very grave,
But apples we want, and apples we'll have;
If you will go with us, you shall have a share,
If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear.”
They spoke, and Tom ponder'd—“I see they will go
Poor man! what a pity to injure him so!
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could,
But staying behind will do him no good,
“If the matter depended alone upon me,
His apples might hang till they dropp'd from the tree;
But since they will take them, I think I'll go too;
He will lose none by me, though I get a few.”
His scruples thus silenced, Tom felt more at ease,
And went with his comrades the apples to seize;
He blamed and protested, but join'd in the plan;
He shared in the plunder, but pitied the man.
THE DIVERTING HISTORY OF JOHN GII.PIN,
Showing how he went farther than he intended, and came safe home again.
John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band Captain eke was he
Of famous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear-
“Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair
Unto the Bell at Edmonton
All in a chaise and pair.
My sister and my sister's child,
Myself and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
On horseback after we.”
He soon replied—“I do admire
Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done.
I am a linen-draper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the Calender
Will lend his horse to go."
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin—"That's well said;
And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,
Which is both bright and clear.”
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
O'erjoy'd was he to find
That, though on pleasure she was belit,
She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,
Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride,
But soon came down again;
For saddle-tree scarce reach'd had he,
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw
Three customers come in.
So down he came; for loss of time,
gh 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,
6. 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
Equipp'd from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well brush'd 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 gall’d 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 grasp'd the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
His horse, who never in that sort
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;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
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 slung;
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; And every soul cried out, “Well done!"
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 !" And 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,
Which made his horse's flanks to smoke
As they had basted been.
But still he seem'd 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;
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, wondering much
To see how he did ride. "Stop, stop, John Gilpin ! Here's the house,"
They all aloud 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 bare-headed 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 forbode,
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;