On the University Carrier who
sickn'd in the time of his vacancy, being
forbid to go to London, by reason of
Here lies old Hobson, Death hath broke his girt,
And here alas, hath laid him in the dirt,
Or els the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down;
For he had any time this ten yeers full,
Dodg'd with him, betwixt Cambridge and the Bull.
And surely, Death could never have prevail'd,
Had not his weekly cours of carriage fail'd;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journeys end was come,
And that he had tane up his latest Inne,
In the kind office of a Chamberlin
Shew'd him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pull'd off his Boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be sed,
Hobson has supt, and 's newly gon to bed.
This poem, by John Milton
, was written after the death of Thomas Hobson
on 1 January 1631
. Hobson was a coachman with a regular route between Cambridge University
and The Bull Inn, in Bishopsgate
. He served the University for more than 60 of his 86 years, carrying students, packages, guests, and parents to the college.
The poem is supposed to be humorous, proposing that Hobson died because he was made to stop his rounds while the Black Death tore at London.