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He held them up, and in his turn

Thus showed 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 speech, 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 galloped 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 pulled 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 again: 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:

'Stop thief! stop thief !-a highwayman!'

Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed 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 stopped 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!

RICHARD BRINSLEY SHERIDAN

[1751-1816] DRINKING SONG

325

HERE's to the maiden of bashful fifteen,

Here's to the widow of fifty;
Here's to the flaunting extravagant quean,

And here's to the housewife that's thrifty;

Chorus. Let the toast pass,

Drink to the lass,
I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for the glass.

Here's to the charmer, whose dimples we prize,

And now to the maid who has none, sir, Here's to the girl with a pair of blue eyes, And here's to the nymph with but one, sir.

Let the toast pass, etc.

Here's to the maid with a bosom of snow,

And to her that's as brown as a berry;
Here's to the wife with a face full of woe,
And now to the girl that is merry:

Let the toast pass, etc.

For let 'em be clumsy, or let 'em be slim,

Young or ancient, I care not a feather;
So fill a pint bumper quite up to the brim,

And let us e'en toast them together.

Chorus. Let the toast pass,

Drink to the lass,
I'll warrant she'll prove an excuse for the glass.

ANNA LAETITIA BARBAULD

[1743-1825]

326

LIFE

LIFE! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met,
I own to me's a secret yet.
But this I know, when thou art fled,
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head,
No clod so valueless shall be
As all that then remains of me.

O whither, whither, dost thou fly?
Where bend unseen thy trackless course?

And in this strange divorce,
Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I?
To the vast ocean of empyreal flame

From whence thy essence came
Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed
From matter's base encumbering weed?

Or dost thou, hid from sight,

Wait, like some spell-bound knight,
Through blank oblivious years th' appointed hour
To break thy trance and reassume thy power ?
Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be?
O say, what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee?

Life! we have been long together,
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;

'Tis hard to part when friends are dear;
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;-
Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;
Say not Good-night, but in some brighter clime

Bid me Good-morning!

327

ISOBEL PAGAN(?)

[1741 (?)-1821)
CA' THE YOWES TO THE KNOWES
CA' the yowes' to the knowes,"
Ca' them where the heather grows,
Ca' them where the burnie rows,

My bonnie dearie.

As I gaed down the water side,
There I met my shepherd lad;
He row'd me sweetly in his plaid,

And he ca'd me his dearie.
*Will ye gang down the water side,
And see the waves sae sweetly glide
Beneath the hazels spreading wide?

The moon it shines fu' clearly.'

'I was bred up at nae sic school,
My shepherd lad, to play the fool,
And a' the day to sit in dool,

And naebody to see me.'
Ye sall get gowns and ribbons meet,
Cauf-leather shoon upon your feet,
And in my arms ye’se lie and sleep,

And ye sall be my dearie.'

'If ye'll but stand to what ye’ve said,
I’se gang wi' you, my shepherd lad,
And ye may row me in your plaid,
And I sall be

your

dearie.

• While waters wimple to the sea, While day blinks in the lifto sae hie, Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e,

Ye aye sall be my dearie !'
2 Knolls. : Little stream. • Rolls. • Rolled.

1 Ewes.

• Sky.

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