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But still he seemed 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 did he 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—"Soam 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. Returned him not R 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 ■ 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 pulled 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."

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 post-boy at his heels,
The post-boy's horse right glad to

The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road

Thus seeing Gilpin fly, With post-boy scampering in the rear,

They raised the hue and cry:

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

And all and each that passed that way

Did join in the pursuit.

And now the turnpike-gates again

Flew open in short space: The tollmen thinking as before

That Gilpin rode a race.

And so he did; and won it too;

For he got first to town; Nor stopped 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!

[From Conversation.]

Words learned by rote, a parrot may rehearse,

But talking is not always to converse;

Not more distinct from harmony divine

The constant creaking of a country sign.

As alphabets in ivory employ Hour after hour the yet unlettered boy,

Sorting and puzzling with a deal of glee

Those seeds of science called his ABC;

So language in the mouth of the adult,

(Witness its insignificant result,) Too often proves an implement of play,

A toy to sport with, and pass time away.

Collect at evening what the day

brought forth. Compress the sum into its solid worth, And if it weigh the importance of a


The scales are false, or algebra a lie.

[From Conversation.]

Durius is such a scrupulous good man —

Yes, you may catch him tripping —

if you can. He would not with a peremptory


Assert the nose upon his face his own:

With hesitation admirably slow, He humbly hopes — presumes—it may be so.

His evidence, if he were called by law

To swear to some enormity he saw, For want of prominence and just relief,

Would hang an honest man and save a thief.

Through constant dread of giving

truth offence. He ties up all his hearers in suspense: Knows what he knows as if he knew

it not;

What he remembers seems to have forgot;

His sole opinion, whatsoe'er befall, Centring at last in having none at

[From Contersation.]

The emphatic speaker dearly loves

to oppose. In contact inconvenient, nose to nose, As if the gnomon on his neighbor's


Touched with the magnet, had attracted his.

His whispered theme, dilated and at large.

Proves after all a windgun's airy charge —

An extract of his diary,— no more,— A tasteless journey of the day before. He walked abroad, o'ertaken in the rain,

Called on a friend, drank tea, stepped

home again, resumed his purpose, had a world of


With one, he stumbled on, and lost

his walk. I interrupt him with a sudden bow, "Adieu, dear sir! lest you should

lose it now."

[From Concersation.]

Some men employ their health, an

ugly trick. In making known how oft they have

been sick.

And give us in recitals of disease, A doctor's trouble, but without the fees;

Relate how many weeks they kept

their bed, How an emetic or cathartic sped: Nothing is slightly touched, much

less forgot. Nose, ears, and eyes seem present on

the spot.

Now the distemper, spite of draught or pill,

Victorious seemed, and now the doctor's skill;

And now — alas, for unforeseen mishaps!

They put on a damp nightcap and relapse:

They thought they must have died,

they were so bad; Their peevish hearers almost wish

they had.

[From Conversation.]


The circle formed, we sit in silent state,

Like figures drawn upon a dial-plate; "Yes, ma'am," and "No, ma'am,"

uttered softly, show Every five minutes how the minutes


Each individual, suffering a constraint —

Poetry may, but colors cannot, paint,—

As if in close committee on the sky, Reports it hot or cold, or wet or dry,

And finds a changing clime a happy source

Of wise reflection and well-timed

discourse. We next inquire, but softly and by


Like conservators of the public health.

Of epidemic throats, if such there are Of coughs and rheums, and phthisic and catarrh.

That theme exhausted, a wide chasm


Filled up at last with interesting news.

Who danced with whom, and who

are like to wed; And who is hanged, and who is

brought to bed; But fear to call a more important


As if 'twere treason against English laws.

The visit paid, with ecstasy we come, As from a seven years' transportation, home,

And there resume an unembarrassed brow,

Recovering what we lost we know not how.

The faculties that seemed reduced to nought.

Expression and the privilege of thought.

(From Conversation.]


Some fretful tempers wince at every touch,

You always do too little or too much: You speak with life in hopes to entertain,

Your elevated voice goes through the brain;

You fall at once into a lower key. That's worse — the drone-pipe of an

humble-bee. The southern sash admits too strong

a light.

You rise and drop the curtain — now

'tis night. He shakes with cold, you stir the fire

and strive To make a blaze — that's roasting

him alive. Serve him with venison, and he

chooses fish; With sole— that's just the sort he

would not wish, he takes what he at first professed to


And in due time feeds heartily on both.



I Shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau

If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And even the child who knows no

Than to interpret by the letter,

A story of a cock and bull

Must have a most uncommon skull.

It chanced then on a winter's day, But warm and bright and calm as May.

The birds, conceiving a design

To forestall sweet St. Valentine.

In many an orchard, copse, and grove

Assembled on affairs of love.

And with much twitter and much

chatter Began to agitate the matter. At length a Bulfinch, who could boast More years and wisdom than the


Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoined.
Delivered briefly thus his mind:
"My friends! be cautious how you

The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we shall have winter yet."
A Finch, whose tongue knew no

With golden w ing and satin poll,
A last year'sbird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert re-

"Methinks the gentleman," quoth

"Opposite in the apple-tree.

By his good-will would keep us single

Till yonder heaven and earth shall

mingle; Or (which is likelier to befall) Till death exterminates us all. I marry without more ado; My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?" Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling,


turning short round, strutting, and sidling,

Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments so well expressed
influenced mightily the rest;
All paired, and each pair built a nest.
But though the birds were thus in

The leaves came on not quite so fast.
And destiny, that sometimes bears
An aspect stern on man's affairs,
Not altogether smiled on theirs.
The wind, of late, breathed gently

Now shifted east, and east by north;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you
know, [snow:
Could shelter them from rain or

Stepping into their nests they paddled,

Themselves were chilled, their eggs

were addled; Soon every father bird and mother Grew quarrelsome, and pecked each


Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had ever met,
And learned in future to be wiser
Than to neglect a good adviser.


Misses! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry —

Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.


[ From The Newspaper.]

Then, lo! the sainted Monitor is

Whose pious face some sacred texts adorn.

As artful sinners cloak the secret sin, To veil with seeming grace the guile within;

So moral essays on his front appear, But all his carnal business in the rear;

The fresh-coined lie, the secret whispered last.

And all the gleanings of the six days past.

[From The Nttetipaper.)

Grave politicians look for facts alone,

And gravely add conjectures of their own:

The sprightly nymph, who never

broke her rest, For tottering crowns, or mighty lands



Finds broils and battles, but neglects them all

For songs and suits, a birthday, or a ball:

The keen warm man o'erlooks each idle tale

For "Moneys Wanted," and "Estates for Sale;"

While some with equal minds to all attend,

Pleased with each part, and grieved to find an end.

[From The Newspaper"

First, from each brother's hoard a part they draw, A mutual theft that never feared a law;

Whate'er they gain, to each man's

portion fall. And read it once, you read it through

them all:

For this their runners ramble day and night,

To drag each lurking deep to open light;

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