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John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife ;
O'erjoy'd was he to find,
That, though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought,
To drive up to the door, lest all
So three doors off the chaise was stay'd,
Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side
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,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
"Twas long before the customers Were suited to their mind,
When Betty screaming came down stairs,
"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 mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)
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,
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,
But finding soon a smoother road
The snorting beast began to trot,
So, Fair and softly, John he cried,
In spite of curb and rein.
So stooping down, as needs he must,
Who cannot sit upright,
He grasp'd the mane with both his hands, And eke with all his might.
His horse, who never in that sort
What thing upon his back had got
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Till, loop and button failing both,
Then might all people well discern
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?
And still, as fast as he drew near,
How in a trice the turnpike men
And now, as he went bowing down
The bottles twain behind his back
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.