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John Gilpin at his horse's side,

Seized fast the flowing inane, And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again.

For saddle-tree 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 grieved 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 screaming came downstairs,

"The wine is left behind."

God lack ! quoth he, yet bring it me,

My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise.

Now Mistress Gilpin, careful soul,

Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,

And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear,

Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,

To make his balance true.

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John Gilpin at his horse's side,

Seized fast the flowing inane, And up he got in haste to ride,

But soon came down again.

For saddle-tree 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 grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

Would trouble him much more.

'T'was long before the customers

Were suited to their mind, When Betty screaming came downstairs,

"The wine is left behind."

God lack ! quoth he, yet bring it me,

My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword

When I do exercise.

Now Mistress Gilpin, careful soul,

Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,

And keep it safe and sound.

Each bottle had a curling ear,

Through which the belt he drew, And 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 paciug o'er the stones

With caution and good heed.

But, finding soon a smoother road

Beneath his well-shod feet,
The snorting beast began to trot,

Which gall’d him in his seat.

So “Fair and softly," John he cried,

But John be cried in vain ;
That trot became a gallop soon,

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

Who cannot sit upright,
He grasp'd the mans with both his hands,

And eke with all his might.

His horse, who never in that sort

Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got

Did wonder more and more.

Away went Gilpin, neck or nought,

Away went hat and wig !
He little dreamt when he set out

Of running such a rig!

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 the windows all,
And ev'ry soul cried out, Well done!

As loud as he could bawl.
Away went Gilpin—who but he ?

His fame soon spread aroundHe 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 braced,

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