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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 post-boy at his heels,

The post-boy's horse right glad to miss
The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road
Thus seeing Gilpin fly,

With post-boy 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 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!


O thou, whom, borne on fancy's eager wing
Back to the season of life's happy spring,
I pleased remember, and, while memory yet
Holds fast her office here, can ne'er forget;
Ingenious dreamer, in whose well-told tale
Sweet fiction and sweet truth alike prevail;
Whose humorous vein, strong sense, and simple style,
May teach the gayest, make the gravest smile;
Witty, and well employ'd, and, like thy Lord,
Speaking in parables his slighted word,-
I name thee not, lest so despised a name
Should move a sneer at thy deserved fame:
Yet even in transitory life's late day,

That mingles all my brown with sober gray,
Revere the man, whose Pilgrim marks the road,

And guides the Progress of the soul to God.

'Twere well with most, if books, that could engage
Their childhood, pleased them at a riper age;
The man, approving what had charm'd the boy,
Would die at last in comfort, peace, and joy;
And not with curses on his art, who stole
The gem of truth from his unguarded soul.


Thy country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee by cruel men and impious call'd
Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose the enthrall'd
From exile, public sale, and slavery's chain.
Friend of the poor, the wrong'd, the fetter-gall'd,
Fear not lest labor such as thine be vain.

Thou hast achieved a part; hast gain'd the ear
Of Britain's senate to thy glorious cause;

Hope smiles, joy springs, and though cold caution pause
And weave delay, the better hour is near
That shall remunerate thy toils severe,
By peace for Afric, fenced with British laws.
Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love
From all the just on earth, and all the blest above.


O that those lips had language! Life has pass'd
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine-thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
"Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away!"
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the art that can immortalize,
The art that bailles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it!) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,

O welcome guest, though unexpected here!
Who bidd'st me honor with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.

I will obey, not willingly alone,

But gladly, as the precept were her own:
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charin for my relief;

1 "The eloquence of Wilberforce was the voice of humanity. It was at the table of Bennet Langton, that he made the public avowal of his sentiments upon slavery. There was something sublime in the spectacle of so young a man preaching a new crusade. He declared himself the advocate of a forsaken race; and with almost unaided arm prepared to open the gates of mercy to mankind. Mackintosh said that he had conferred upon the world a benefit never exceeded by human benevolence. He was neither daunted by opposition nor depressed by defeat. However exhausted by the struggle, if he touched, in imagination at least, the ground where the ashes of the persecuted African reposed, his strength returned to him. The cry of blood ascended from the earth. Let his toil be appreciated, and his difficulties acknowledged. What others have dared in the war of arms, he dared in the war of opinion. He attacked the bulwarks with which avarice had fortified the cruelties of slavery; and never yielded to the invitations of ease, until he had driven a gap into those barricades of iniquity. His mind seemed to dilate with the majesty of his subject. His speech in 1789 gained the applause of all who heard it; and one passage, that in which he summoned death, as his last witness, whose tremendous testimony was neither to be purchased nor refuted, reached the sublime. Burke admired it; Pitt and Fox eulogized it; and Bishop Porteus mentioned it to the poet Mason, in terms of still warmer praise. In him was beheld, for the first, if not for the last time, the noble spectacle of a man without patronage or office, to whom parliament listened with respect, and the country with reverence; having no friends but the good; no side but virtue." Willmott.

Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,

A momentary dream, that thou art she.

My mother! when I learn'd that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed? Hover'd thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss

Ah that maternal smile! it answers-Yes. S

I heard the bell toll'd on thy burial day,

I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu!

But was it such ?-It was.-Where thou art gone,
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wish'd, I long believed,
And, disappointed still, was still deceived.
By expectation every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow, even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,

I learn'd at last submission to my lot,

But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no inore, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor;

And where the gardener Robin, day by day,
Drew me to school along the public way,
Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapp`d
In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capt,
'Tis now become a history little known,
That once we call'd the pastoral house our own.
Short-lived possession! But the record fair,
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.

Thy nightly visits to my chamber, made

That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,

The biscuit, or confectionary plum;

The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd;

All this, and more endearing still than all,

Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,

Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks,
That humor interposed too often makes;

All this still legible in memory's page,

And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay

Such honors to thee as my numbers may;

Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,

Not scorn'd in Heaven, though little noticed here.

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,

I prick'd them into paper with a pin,

(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile,)
Could those few pleasant days again appear,

Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart;-the dear delight so to be desired, perhaps I might.-
But no-what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.

Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd)
Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle,
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;

So thou, with sails how swift! hast reach'd the shore,
"Where tempests never beat nor billows roar;"
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Of life long since has anchor'd by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distress'd-
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd,
Sails ripp'd, seams opening wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
Yet O the thought, that thou art safe, and he!
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth,
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents pass'd into the skies.
And now, farewell!-Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;

And, while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft,-

Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.

Cowper's prose works are confined almost exclusively to his letters. These now, without dispute, take the very first rank in English epistolary literature There is something in the sweetness and facility of the diction, and more. perhaps, in the glimpse they afford of a pure and benevolent mid, that diffuses a charm over the whole collection, and communicates an interest that cannot always be commanded by performances of greater dignity and pre

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