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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.”

200

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 ;

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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.”

220

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;

225

But not performing what he meant,

And gladly would have done,
The frighted steed he frighted more,

And made him faster run.

230

Away went Gilpin, and away

Went postboy at his heels,
The postboy's horse right glad to miss

The lumbering of the wheels.

Six gentlemen upon the road,

Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
With postboy scampering in the rear,

They raised the hue and cry:

235

“Stop thief! stop thief !-a highwayman!”

Not one of them was mute;
And all and each that passed that way

Did join in the pursuit.

240

And now the turnpike gates again

Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking, as before,

That Gilpin rode a race.

245

And so he did, and won it too,

For he got first to town;
Nor stopped till where he had got up

He did again get down.

250

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!

ON THE DEATH OF

MRS THROCKMORTON'S BULLFINCH.

YE Nymphs ! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,

Oh! share Maria's grief ;
Her favourite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage?)

Assassined by a thief !

5

Where Rhenus strays his vines among
The egg was laid from which he sprung;

And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blessed,
Well-taught, he all the sounds expressed

Of flageolet or flute.

IO

15

The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,

His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise

To sweep away the dew.

20

Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,

No cat had leave to dwell ;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,

Large built and latticed well.

25

Well latticed, but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,

For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and dried,

The swains their baskets make.

30

Night veiled the pole ; all seemed secure ;
When, led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long backed, long tailed, with whiskered snout, 35

And badger-coloured hide.

He, entering at the study door,
Its ample area 'gan explore ;

And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,

Food chiefly for the mind.

40

45

Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest;

In sleep he seemed to view
A rat fast clinging to the cage,
And screaming at the sad presage,

Awoke and found it true.

50

For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went,-

Ah, Muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrors that ensued ;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood, -

He left poor Bully's beak.

55

Oh, had he made that too his prey !
That beak, whence issued many a lay

Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,

Fast stuck within his own.

60

Maria weeps,—the Muses mourn ;-
So when, by Bacchanalians torn,

On Thracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell,
His head alone remained to tell

The cruel death he died.

65

THE NEEDLESS ALARM.

A TALE.

THERE is a field through which I often pass,
Thick overspread with moss and silky grass,
Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood,
Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood,
Reserved to solace many a neighbouring squire, 5
That he may follow them through brake and brier,

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