The Highwayman

Contents:
Author: Alfred Noyes  | Date: 1906

PART I

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding,

Riding, riding,

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

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.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,

And 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.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked

Where Tim the ostler listened; his face was white and peaked;

His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,

But he loved the landlord’s daughter,

The landlord’s red-lipped daughter,

Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"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 i’ 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 moonlight,

(Oh, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)

Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to

the West.

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Chicago: Alfred Noyes, "Part I," The Highwayman Original Sources, accessed December 3, 2020, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ANY9WQG98ELJ56A.

MLA: Noyes, Alfred. "Part I." The Highwayman, Original Sources. 3 Dec. 2020. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ANY9WQG98ELJ56A.

Harvard: Noyes, A, 'Part I' in The Highwayman. Original Sources, retrieved 3 December 2020, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=ANY9WQG98ELJ56A.