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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.
Away went Gilpin, and away
Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss
The lumbering of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road,
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear,
They raised the hue and cry:-
THE HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN.
Stop thief! stop thief!-a highwayman!
Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that pass'd that way
Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again
Flew open in short space;
The toll-men 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!
THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOWWORM.
A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Had cheer'd the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glowworm by his spark ;
So stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent-
Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the selfsame power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light
Might beautify and cheer the night.
The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
NIGHTINGALE AND GLOWWORM.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn Their real interest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other;
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.
AN EPISTLE TO AN AFFLICTED PROTESTANT
LADY IN FRANCE.
A STRANGER'S purpose in these lays
Is to congratulate, and not to praise.
To give the creature the Creator's due
Were sin in me, and an offence to you.
From man to man, or e'en to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by craft for folly's use design'd,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown;
No traveller ever reach'd that blest abode,
Who found not thorns and briers in his road.
The world may dance along the flowery plain,
Cheer'd as they go by many a sprightly strain,
Where nature has her mossy velvet spread,
With unshod feet they yet securely tread,
Admonish'd, scorn the caution and the friend,
Bent all on pleasure, heedless of its end.
But he, who knew what human hearts would prove,
How slow to learn the dictates of his love,
That, hard by nature and of stubborn will,
A life of ease would make them harder still,