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I turned me to the rich man then,

For silently stood he ; ". You asked me why the poor complain, And these have answered thee.”


125.—THE PEARL. A little particle of rain,

That from a passing cloud descended, Was heard thus idly to complain :

"My brief existence now is ended; Outcast alike of earth and sky,

Useless to live, unknown to die.” It chanced to fall into the sea

And there an open shell received it;And, after years, how rich was he

Who from its prison-house relieved it! That drop of rain had formed a gem,

Fit for a monarch's diadem.



John Gilpin was a citizen

Of credit and renown;
A train-band (1) captain eke [2] was he

Of famous London town. [1] Train-band-a company of men, not soldiers by profession, trained to martial exercise, in times of emer. gency. .

[2] Eke-also.

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, [1]

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, [2]

Will lend his horse to go.”

Quoth (3] Mistress Gilpin, " That's well said,

And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnished with our own,

Which is both bright and clear.”

[1] Edmonton—a village on the north of London.

[2] Calender-put for calenderer-one whose trade it is to give cloth a smooth and glossy surface by a mechanical process.

[3] Quoth-says, or said.

John Gilpin kissed his loving wife,

O’erjoyed 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 [1]

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,

(1) Agoy-in a state of desire.

'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 !”[1]
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,
His long red cloak, well brushed and neat,

He manfully did throw.
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.

[1] When I do exercise-as captain of one of the trainSo, “ fair and softly!” John he cried,


But John he cried in vain;
That 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,
His horse, who never in that sort

Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got

Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;

Away went hat and wig ;
He little dreamt, when he set out,

Of running such a rig. [1]
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,

Like streamer long and gay,
Till loop and button failing both,

At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern

The bottles he had slung;
A bottle swinging at each side,

As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children screamed,

Up went the windows all,
And every soul cried out, “ Well done!”

As loud as he could baw).

.[1] Running a rig-an inelegant expression for getting into trouble.

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