صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

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."
Now Mrs. Gilpin, careful soul,

Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she lov'd,

And keep it safe and sound. Each bottle had a curling ear,

Through which the belt he drew; He 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 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,

In spite of curb and rein.
So stooping down as needs he must,

Who cannot sit upriglat ;
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 wig i

Y 2

He little dreamt, when he set out,

Of running such a rig.
His horse, who never had before

Been handled in this kind,
Affrighted fled ; and as he flew,

Left all the world behind.
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 tire windows all ; And every soul crid out, “ well done T"

As loud as they 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, llow 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, ^om the baloony, spied

[ocr errors]

Her tender husband, wond'iing much'

To see how he did ride.
Stop, stop,

, John Gilpin! here's the house !"
They all at once did cry ;
66 The dinner waits, and we are tir'd !'*-

Said Gilpin" so am 1!"
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, Tom Callender's,

His horse at last stood still.
Tom Calender, surpris'd to see

His friend in such a trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to gate,

And thus accosted him “ What news > What news? Your tidings tell ;

Make haste and tell me all !
Say, Why bareheaded are you come ?

Or why you come at alt ???
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 forbode,
My hat 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 ;

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 t" 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 hor- did sncrt, 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."
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 :
For 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 postboy at his heels s
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 !"

Not one of them was mule ;

*

So they, and all that pass'd that way,

Soon 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 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
©a 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 furious winds,
And surging waves, as mountains to assault
Heav'ns 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 Chaos, and the world unborn : For Chaos heard his voice ; him all his train Follow'd in bright procession 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

« السابقةمتابعة »