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 The Diverting History Of John Gilpin 
Page 1 of 3

      John Gilpin was a citizen
          Of credit and renown,
      A train-band captain eke was he
          Of famous London town.
      John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
          "Though wedded we have been
      These twice ten tedious years, yet we
          No holiday have seen.
      "To-morrow is our wedding-day,
          And we will then repair
      Unto the Bell at Edmonton
          All in a chaise and pair.
      "My sister and my sister's child,
          Myself, and children three,
      Will fill the chaise; so you must ride
          On horseback after we."
      He soon replied, "I do admire
          Of womankind but one,
      And you are she, my dearest dear.
          Therefore it shall be done.
      "I am a linen-draper bold,
          As all the world doth know,
      And my good friend the calender
          Will lend his horse to go."
      Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, "That's well said;
          And for that wine is dear,
      We will be furnished with our own,
          Which is both bright and clear."
      John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;
          O'er joyed was he to find,
      That, though on pleasure she was bent,
          She had a frugal mind.
      The morning came, the chaise was brought,
          But yet was not allowed
      To drive up to the door, lest all
          Should say that she was proud.
      So three doors off the chaise was stayed,
          Where they did all get in;
      Six precious souls, and all agog
          To dash through thick and thin.
      Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
          Were never folks so glad,
      The stones did rattle underneath,
          As if Cheapside were mad.
      John Gilpin at his horse's side
          Seized fast the flowing mane,
      And up he got, in haste to ride,
          But soon came down again;
      For saddle-tree scarce reached 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 down stairs,
          "The wine is left behind!"
      "Good 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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