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“I came because your horse would come;
My hat and wig will soon be here:— .
The calender, right glad to find
Returned him not a single word,
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;
A hat not much the worse for wear,
He held them up and in his turn
“My head is twice as big as yours,
But let me scrape the dirt away
And stop and eat, for well you may
Said John, “It is my wedding day,
If wife should dine at Edmonton
So, turning to his horse, he said,
'Twas for your pleasure you came here,
Ah! luckless speech and bootless boast,
For while he spake, a braying ass
205 Whereat his horse did snort, as he
Away went Gilpin, and away
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
And thus unto the youth she said, That drove them to the Bell, “This shall be yours when you bring back 220 My husband safe and well.”
The youth did ride, and soon did meet
Whom in a trice he tried to stop
225 But not performing what he meant
Away went Gilpin, and away
Six gentlemen upon the road,
“Stop thief stop thief a highwayman l’”
And now the turnpike gates again
The toll-men thinking as before,
245 And so he did, and won it too,
Now let us sing “Long Live the King,”
HELPS TO STUDY.
Biographical: William Cowper, 1731-1800, was a famous English poet. His poems range from religious to humorous subjects.
Notes and Questions
What was the occasion of the ride? | Why did people think John Gilpin
What tells you that the linen- rode for a wager? draper lived over his shop? Edmonton—a suburb of London. Which stanza is most amusing? The Bell—the Inn.
“the postboy's horse right glad to miss the lumbering of the wheels'’
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX
I SPRANG to the stirrup, and Joris, and he:
Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near Lokeren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear; 15 At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see; At Düffeld, 'twas morning as plain as could be; And from Mecheln church-steeple we heard the half-chime, . So Joris broke silence with, “Yet there is time !”
At Aershot, up leaped of a sudden the sun,
25 And his low head and crest, just one sharp ear bent back
How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Air 35
And the thick heavy spume-flakes which aye and anon 30 His fierce lips shook upwards in galloping on.
By Hasselt, Dirck groaned; and cried Joris, “Stay spur !
So, we were left galloping, Joris and I,
“How they’ll greet us!”—and all in a moment his roan
Then I cast loose my buffcoat, each holster let fall, 50 Shook off both my jack-boots, let go belt and all, Stood up in the stirrup, leaned, patted his ear, Called my Roland his pet-name, my horse without peer; Clapped my hands, laughed and sang, any noise, bad or good, Till at length into Aix Roland galloped and stood.
55 And all I remember is—friends flocking round
60 Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent