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Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did 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 "So am 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,
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 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 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 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 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.

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O thou, whom, borne on fancy's eager wing
Back to the season of life's happy spring,
I pleased remember, and, while memory yet
Holds fast her office here, can ne'er forget;
Ingenious dreamer, in whose well-told tale
Sweet fiction and sweet truth alike prevail;
Whose humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style,
May teach the gayest, make the gravest smile;
Witty, and well employ'd, and, like thy Lord,
Speaking in parables his slighted word,—
I name thee not, lest so despised a name
Should move a sneer at thy deserved fame:
Yet even in transitory life's late day,
That mingles all my brown with sober gray,
Revere the man, whose Pilgrim marks the road,
And guides the Progress of the soul to God.
"Twere well with most, if books, that could engage
Their childhood, pleased them at a riper age;
The man, approving what had charm'd the boy,
Would die at last in comfort, peace, and joy;
And not with curses on his art, who stole
The gem of truth from his unguarded soul.


Thy country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee by cruel men and impious call'd
Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose the enthrall'd
From exile, public sale, and slavery's chain.
Friend of the poor, the wrong'd, the fetter-gall'd,
Fear not lest labor such as thine be vain.

Thou hast achieved a part; hast gain'd the ear
Of Britain's senate to thy glorious cause;

Hope smiles, joy springs, and though cold caution pause

And weave delay, the better hour is near
That shall remunerate thy toils severe,

By peace for Afric, fenced with British laws.
Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love
From all the just on earth, and all the blest above.


O that those lips had language! Life has pass'd
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!"
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it!) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidd'st me honor with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,

But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief;

1 "The eloquence of Wilberforce was the voice of humanity. It was at the table of Bennet Langton, that he made the public avowal of his sentiments upon slavery. There was something sublime in the spectacle of so young a man preaching a new crusade. He declared himself the advocate of a forsaken race; and with almost unaided arm prepared to open the gates of mercy to mankind. Mackintosh said that he had conferred upon the world a benefit never exceeded by human benevolence. He was neither daunted by opposition nor depressed by defeat. However exhausted by the struggle, if he touched, in imagination at least, the ground where the ashes of the persecuted African reposed, his strength returned to him. The cry of blood ascended from the earth. Let his toil be appreciated, and his difficulties acknowledged. What others have dared in the war of arms, he dared in the war of opinion. He attacked the bulwarks with which avarice had fortified the cruelties of slavery; and never yielded to the invitations of ease, until he had driven a gap into those barricades of iniquity. His mind seemed to dilate with the majesty of his subject. His speech in 1789 gained the applause of all who heard it; and one passage, that in which he summoned death, as his last witness, whose tremendous testimony was neither to be purchased nor refuted, reached the sublime. Burke admired it; Pitt and Fox eulogized it; and Bishop Porteus mentioned it to the poet Mason, in terms of still warmer praise. In him was beheld, for the first, if not for the last time, the noble spectacle of a man without patronage or office, to whom parliament listened with respect, and the country with reverence; having no friends but the good; no side but virtue." - Willmott.

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