She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!Then her finger moved in the moonlight, 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 blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey 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, shrieking a curse to the sky,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 a bunch of lace at his throat.
And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, A highwayman comes riding - Riding—ridingA highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.