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The calendrer, amazed to see

His neighbour in such trim,
Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,

And thus accosted him: “What news? what news? your tidings tell ;

Tell me you must and shall ;
Say why bareheaded you are come,

Or why you come at all?"
Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,

And loved a timely joke ; And thus unto the calendrer

In merry guise he spoke:
"I came because your horse would come;

And, if I well forebode,
My hat and wig will soon be here,

They are upon the road.”
The calendrer, right glad to find

His friend in merry pin,
Return’d him not a single word,

But to the house went in :
Whence straight he came with hat and wig;

A wig that flow'd behind,
A hat not much the worse for wear,

Each comely in its kind.
He held them up, and in his turn

Thus show'd 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 gallop'd 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 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 lumb'ring of the wheels.

Sıx gentlemen upon the road,

Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scamp’ring 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 pass'd that way

Did join in the pursuit.
And now the turnpike gates again

Flew open in short space;
The tollmen 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!

ROBERT BURNS. 1759–1796.

THE COTTER'S SATURDAY-NIGHT. My loved, my honour'd, much respected friend !

No mercenary bard his homage pays ; With honest pride I scorn each selfish end ;

My dearest meed a friend's esteem and praise ; To you I sing, in simple Scottish lays,

The lowly train in life's sequester'd scene; The native feelings strong, the guileless ways:

What A**** in a cottage would have been, Ah! though his worth unknown, far happier there,


November chill blaws loud wi' angry sugh;

The shortening winter-day is near a close ; The miry beasts retreating frae the pleugh,

The blackening trains o' craws to their repose: The toilworn cotter frae his labour goes,

This night his weekly moil is at an end, Collects his spades, his mattocks, and his hoes,

Hoping the morn in ease and rest to spend, And weary, o'er the moor, his course does hameward

bend. At length his lonely cot appears in view,

Beneath the shelter of an aged tree; Th' expectant wee things, toddlin, stacher through

To meet their dad, wi' flichterin noise an' glee. His wee bit ingle, blinkin bonnily,

His clean hearthstane, his thrifty wifie's smile, The lisping infant prattling on his knee,

Does a' his weary, carking cares beguile,
An' make him quite forget his labour an' his toil.
Belyve the elder bairns come drapping in,

At service out, amang the farmers roun':
Some ca’ the pleugh, some herd, some tentie rin

A cannie errand to a neebor town:
Their eldest hope, their Jenny, woman grown,

In youthfu' bloom, love sparkling in her e'e, Comes hame, perhaps, to show a braw new gown,

Or deposite her sair-won penny-fee,
To help her parents dear, if they in hardship be.
Wi' joy unfeign'd, brothers and sisters meet,

An each for others' weelfare kindly spiers : The social hours, swift-wing’d, unnoticed fleet;

Each tells the uncos that he sees or hears; The parents, partial, eye their hopeful years ;

Anticipation forward points the view. The mother, wi' her needle an' her shears,

Gars auld claes look amaist as weel's the new : The father mixes a'wi' admonition due.

Their master's an' their mistress's command,

The younkers a’ are warned to obey ; “ An' mind their labours wi' an eydent hand,

An' ne'er, though out o' sight, to jauk or play; An' oh! be sure to fear the Lord alway!

An' mind your duty, duly, morn an' night! Lest in temptation's path ye gang astray,

Implore his counsel and assisting might: They never sought in vain that sought the Lord


But, hark! a rap comes gently to the door;

Jenny, wha kens the meaning o’ the same, Tells how a neebor lad came o'er the moor

To do some errands and convoy her hame. The wily mother sees the conscious flame

Sparkle in Jenny's e'e and flush her cheek; With heart-struck,

anxious care, inquires his name, While Jenny, hafflins, is afraid to speak ; Weel pleased the mother hears, it's nae wild, worth

less rake.

Wi' kindly welcome Jenny brings him ben ;

A strappan youth; he taks the mother's eye; Blithe Jenny sees the visit's no ill ta'en;

The father cracks of horses, pleughs, and kye. The youngster's artless heart o'erflows wi' joy.

But blathe and laithfu', scarce can weel behave; The mother, wi' a woman's wiles, can spy What makes the youth sae bashfu' an' sae

grave; Weel pleased to think her bairn’s respected like the


Oh, happy love! where love like this is found !

Oh, heartfelt raptures ! bliss beyond compare! I've paced much this weary mortal round,

And sage Experience bids me this declare :

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