Famous Stories Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 279 pages of information about Famous Stories Every Child Should Know.

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 galloped 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 Mrs. Gilpin, when she saw
  Her husband posting down
Into the country far away,
  She pulled 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 frightened 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 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:—­

“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.

And now the turnpike gates again
  Flew open in short space;
The toll-men thinking, as before,
  That Gilpin rode a race.

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.

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!

—­WILLIAM COWPER

VIII

THE MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY

I suppose that very few casual readers of the New York Herald of August 13, 1863, observed, in an obscure corner, among the “Deaths,” the announcement,—­

     “NOLAN.  Died, on board U.S.  Corvette Levant, Lat. 2 deg. 11’
     S., Long. 131 deg.  W., on the 11th of May, PHILIP NOLAN.”

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Famous Stories Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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