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His very words,-my own boy's words,-oh, tell me
every one:

You little know how dear to his old mother is my son."


"Through Havelock's fights and marches the 90th
were there,

In all the gallant 90th did, your Robert had his share: 15 Twice he went into Lucknow,* untouched by steel or ball; And you may bless your God, old dame, that brought him safe through all."


"Oh, thanks unto the living God that heard his
mother's prayer,

The widow's cry that rose on high her only son to spare!
Oh, blessed be God, that turned from him the sword
and shot away!

And what to his old mother did my darling bid you say?"

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were shut up here in a building called the Re

"Mother, he saved his colonel's life, and bravely it was sidency, and


In the despatch * they told it all, and named and praised
your son;

A medal and a pension's* his,-good luck to him I say,
And he has not a comrade but will wish him well to-day.

25 "Now, soldier, blessings on your tongue! O husband!



How well our boy pays me this day for all I have gone


All I have done and borne for him the long years
you're dead!


But, soldier, tell me how he looked, and all my Robert


"He's bronzed and tanned and bearded, and you'd
hardly know him, dame;

30 We've made your boy into a man, but still his heart's
the same:

For often, dame, his talk's of you, and always to one tone;
But there! his ship is nearly home, and he'll be with
you soon."

"Oh, is he really coming home, and shall I really see
My boy again, my own boy home-and when, when will

it be?

35 Did you say soon ?" "Well, he is home-keep cool, old
dame-he's here!"

"O Robert! my own blessèd boy!" "O mother, mother

surrounded by the mutineers. After they had suffered many and great hardships, they were re

lieved first by

Havelock, on the 23d of September, and finally, by Sir Colin Campbell, on the 17th of November. Despatch, the account of the battle

sent by the

commander to headquar


A pension, a
yearly sum of
money paid,
on certain

to retired
soldiers and
others who

have served

the state. He's bronzed,

the heat of

the sun had caused his

skin to turn



WILLIAM COWPER (1731-1800), the most popular poet of his day, was born in Hertfordshire. He suffered during the greater part of his life from fits of insanity. Chief poems: The Task, Table-Talk, John Gilpin, &c.

Trainband, a com-
pany of militia or
men trained to act
as soldiers. The
trainbands of London
were mostlycomposed
of apprentices.
Eke, also, besides.
Spouse, a husband or

Tedious, long, tire-
some, wearisome.
Repair, to go to a

Edmonton, a village to the north of London, where there is an inn with the sign of a Bell,

Chaise, a light twowheeled carriage.

Here is no doubt. meant a carriage with four wheels, drawn by two or more horses, and used for the con

veyance of people from one post or place to another.

After we is used for the sake of the rhyme, instead of after us. Calender or Calenderer, a cloth finisher.

Quoth, said.

JOHN Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown;


A trainband 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,

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And my good friend, the calender,*
Will lend his horse to go."

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Frugal, sparing, careful.

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.

45 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.

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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,*

55 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." *

65 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


Equipped from top to toe,

75 His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,

He manfully did throw.

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Good lack! or good
lady! an
tion of wonder, sur-
prise, or admiration.
When I do exercise,
when he attended at
drill with his com-
pany of militia.

Equipped, furnished, fitted out.

Nimble, being light and quick in motion.

Galled, wounded by rubbing.

Curb, a chain or strap fastened to the bit of a bridle, in order to check the horse when necessary.

In that sort, in that manner.

Neck or nought, neck or nothing, at the risk of everything. Wig, an artificial covering of hair for the head.

Rig, a piece of folly, to do something outrageous, a wild prank.

Discern, see clearly.

Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble * steed,
Full slowly pacing 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 galled * him in his seat.

So "Fair and softly," John he cried ;
But John he cried in vain ;

The trot became a gallop soon,

In spite of curb * and rein.

So stooping down, as needs he must,
Who cannot sit upright,

He grasped the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.

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Fame, renown, hav-
ing a great name.
He carries weight I-
meaning the stone
bottles at his belt.

And every soul cried out, "Well done!"
As loud as he could bawl.

Away went Gilpin-who but he?

His fame* soon spread around;

"He carries weight! *—he rides a race!
'Tis for a thousand pound!"


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Which made his horse's flanks to smoke,
As they had basted * been.


But still he seemed to carry weight
With leathern girdle braced;
For all might see the bottle necks
Still dangling at his waist.

Thus all through merry Islington
These gambols he did play,

Until he came unto the Wash

Of Edmonton so gay.

And there he threw the Wash about,

On both sides of the way,

Just like unto a trundling mop,

Or a wild goose at play.

At Edmonton his loving wife
From the balcony * espied


Her tender husband, wond'ring much
To see how he did ride.

145 "Stop, stop, John Gilpin !-Here's the house! "


They all at once did cry;

"The dinner waits, and we are tired;"
Said Gilpin "So am I!"

But yet his horse was not a whit*
Inclined to tarry there;

For why? His owner had a house
Full ten miles off, at Ware.*

So like an arrow swift he flew,
Shot by an archer strong;

155 So did he fly-which brings me to
The middle of my song.

Trice, a short time,
an instant.
Turnpike men, the
toll-keepers. A turn-
pike is a gate put
across a road to stop
those who have to
pay toll.
Reeking, steaming.
Twain, two.

Piteous, causing pity.

Baste, to pour fat over meat whilst roasting.

Braced, fastened.

Islington, one of the northern suburbs of London. It now forms a part of the town.

Balcony, a kind of
small gallery outside

a house.
Espied, saw.

Whit, the least bit.

Ware, a town in Hertfordshire, on the river Lea

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