John Gilpin was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A train-band 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.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought,
Away went hat and wig;
He little dream’t when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak
Like a streamer long
Till loop and buttons failing
At last it flew awa.
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 both 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.