The Highway man

The Highway man
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  • He'd a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin, A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin; They fitted with never a wrinkle: his boots were up to the thigh.
  • And he rode with a jeweled twinkle, His pistol butts a-twinkle, His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.
  • (From Outside) "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."
  • 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. "Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say--
  • Look for me by moonlight; Watch for me by moonlight; I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!
  • Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hoofs ringing clear; Tlot-tlot, tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear? Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
  • The highwayman came riding, Riding, riding! The red-coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still!
  • Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night! Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light! Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
  • Then her finger moved in the moonlight, Her musket shattered the moonlight, Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him--with her death.
  • 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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