The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard, He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred;He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord's daughter,Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight, But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day, Then look for me by moonlight, Watch for me by moonlight, I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way." He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand, But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand, As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;And he kissed its waves in the moonligh
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door.They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest. They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast.Her musket shattered the moonlight,Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.
He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know who stood Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood. Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew gray to hear How Bess, the landlord's daughter,The landlord's black-eyed daughter,Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.
Back, he spurred like a madman, shouting a curse to the sky, With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,When they shot him down on the highway, Down like a dog on the highway,And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.
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