Imatges de pÓgina

And up he got in haste to ride,
But soon came down again.
For saddletree 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,
Although it griev'd 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 scream'd into his ears-
"The wine is left behind."

"Good lack!" quoth he, "yet bring it me My leathern belt likewise,

In which I wear my trusty sword,
When I do exercise."

[blocks in formation]

Then over all, that he might be
Equipp'd from top to toe,

His long red cloak, well brush'd and neaty,
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 wellshod 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 ;

The trot became a gallop soon ;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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..

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought ;.
Away went hat and wigs

[blocks in formation]

The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,"
Up flew the windows all;
And every soul cri'd out, "Well done!"
As loud as they could bawl.
Away went Gil pin-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 brac'd;
For all might see the bottles' 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 the balcony, spied

[ocr errors]

Her tender husband, wond'ring much
To see how he did ride.

[ocr errors]

Stop, stop, John Gilpin! here's the house!
They all at once did cry;

inner waits, and we are tir'd!"
nin-" So am I !"


[blocks in formation]

"What news? What news? Your tidings telt ; Make haste and tell me all !

Sav. Why bareheaded are you come?
Or, Why you come at all?"
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
And lov'd a timely joke;
And thus unto Tom Callender,
In merry strains he spoke :-
"I came because your horse would come;
And if I well forebode,

My bat and wig will soon be here;
They are upon the road."

Tom Callender, right glad to find
His friend in merry pin,
Return'd him not a single word,
But to the house went in:

Whence 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

[ocr errors]

And stop and eat-for well you may
Be in a hungry case!


Said John-" It is my wedding day;
And folks would gape and 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 specch, 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 if
He 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 Gilpin's wife, when she had seen
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."

[ocr errors]

The youth did ride, and soon they met ;
He tried to stop John's horse
By seizing fast the flowing rein;
But only made things worse:
But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done,
He thereby frighted Gilpin's horse,,
And made him faster run.
Away went Gilpin-and away
Went postbay at his heels ;
The postboy's horse right glad to miss,
The lumb'ring of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,

With postboy scamp'ring in the rear,
They rais'd the hue and cry.

"Stop thief! stop thief! a highwayman Ï** Not one of them was mute;

So they, and all that pass'd that way,
Soon join'd 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!"


VII The Creation of the World.-MILTON. * MEANWHILE the Son On his great expedition now appear'd, Girt with omnipotence, with radiance crown'd, Of majesty divine; sapience and love Immense, and all his Father in him shone. About his chariot numberless were pour'd Cherub and seraph, potentates and thrones, And virtues; wing'd spirits and chariots wing'd From the armory of God; where stand of old Myriads, between two brazen mountains lodg'd Against a solemn day, harness'd at hand. Celestial equipage! and now came forth Spontaneous, for within them spirit liv'd, Attendant on their Lord; heaven open'd wide. Her everduring gates, harmonious sound! On golden hinges moving, to let forth The King of Glory, in his powerful Word And Spirit, coming to create new worlds. On heavenly ground they stood, and from the shore They view'd the vast immeasurable abyss, Outrageous as a sea; dark, wasteful, wild; Up from the bottom turn'd by furicus winds; And surging waves, as mountains to assault Heaven's height, and with the centre mix the pole.

Silence, ye troubled waves ! and thou deep, peace! Said then the omnific Word, your discord end : Nor stay'd; but on the wings of Cherubim Uplifted, in paternal glory rode Far into Chacs, and the world unborn; For Chaos heard his voice; him all his train Follow'd in bright possession to behold Creation, and the wonders of his might. Then stay'd the fervid wheels, and in his hand He took the golden compasses, prepar'd In God's eternal store, to circumscribe

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »