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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 !"

6 '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 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 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;
6. 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.
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 callender's

His horse at last stood still.
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,
My hat and wig will soon be here,

They are upon the road.”

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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,-
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 your's,

They, therefore, needs must fit. 6 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 your's 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 his heels ;-
The post-boy's horse right glad to miss

The lumb'ring of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road

Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With post-boy scamp’ring in the rear,

They rais'd 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 first 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 !


Altered from ALLAN RAMSAY, by Joan ToelwALL,*

late Teacher of Elocution. msay was, in his juvenile days, a Fellow of an Easy Club; the Members of which occasionally presented Papers and Dissertations on subjects of literature and morals ; which furnished topics for the conversation of the evening. Allan being, as he himself acknowledges, “but an indifferent Orator, his friends would merrily allege that he was not so happy in prose as rhyme.” It was therefore carried in a vote," against which there was no opposition, “ that on the night appointed for some lessons on wit,” he should give his thoughts to the Society “in Verse.” He accordingly produced a little poem, the major part of which is here presented; with some alterations, and additions.t

friends, since


think fit
This night to lucubrate on Wit;
An' since ye judge that I compose
More easily in rhyme than prose,
I'll give ye (be it right or wrong)
My simple judgment in a song.
But, first of all, I'll tell a tale
That with my case runs parallel.

There liv'd a manting lad in Fife
Who could not, for his very life,
Without a world of


and splutter,
A syllable in speaking utter ;
But (tho', in speech, so chain'd of tongue)
He never boggled at a song ;
Would trill and carol, as he went,
With strength of voice and heart's content,
And rove, from strain to strain right oddly,
Thro' pious Hymn and theme ungodly.

One day his father's kiln he watchd,
When 'chance the flames the fabric catch'd,

* This amiable and talented lecturer, after a life of great vicissitude, and

many “hair.breadth 'scapes," died in 1834, at Bath, in the 70th year of his age, esteemed and respected by all who knew him.

† The highly-gifted author of the finest pastoral drama in the world, "The Gentle Shepherd," was born in Lanarkshire, and died at his house,

Ramsay Lodge,” in Edinburgh, on the 7th of January, 1758, aged 72.


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