The Highwayman

by Alfred NoyesPart OneThe wind was a torrent the darkness amongst the gusty trees.The moon to be a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.The road was a ribbon that moonlight end the purple moor,And the highwayman came riding—Riding—riding—The highwayman come riding, up to the old inn-door.He’d a French cocked-hat top top his forehead, a bunch the lace in ~ his chin,A coat of the claret velvet, and also breeches that brown doe-skin.They equipment with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.And he rode through a jewelled twinkle,His pistol butts a-twinkle,His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.Over the cobbles the clattered and also clashed in the dark inn-yard.He tapped through his whip ~ above the shutters, yet all to be locked and barred.He whistled a song to the window, and who need to be wait thereBut the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,Bess, the landlord’s daughter,Plaiting a dark red love-knot right into her long black hair.And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creakedWhere Tim the ostler listened. His confront was white and also peaked.His eye were hollows that madness, his hair prefer mouldy hay,But he love the landlord’s daughter,The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.Dumb together a dog the listened, and also he heard the robber say—“One kiss, mine bonny sweetheart, ns after a prize to-night,But ns shall be ago with the yellow gold before the morning light;Yet, if they push me sharply, and harry me v the day,Then look because that me by moonlight,Watch because that me by moonlight,I’ll come to thee through moonlight, though hell have to bar the way.”He climbed upright in the stirrups. He scarce can reach her hand,But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face scorched like a brandAs the black color cascade the perfume come tumbling end his breast;And that kissed its tide in the moonlight,(O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)Then the tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and also galloped far to the west.

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Part TwoHe did no come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;And the end of the tawny sunset, before the increase of the moon,When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,A red-coat troop came marching—Marching—marching—King George’s guys came marching, up to the old inn-door.They stated no word to the landlord. Castle drank his ale instead.But they gagged his daughter, and also bound her, come the foot the her narrow bed.Two of lock knelt at she casement, with muskets at their side!There was death at every window;And hell at one dark window;For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.They had actually tied her approximately attention, with many a sniggering jest.They had actually bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!“Now, keep great watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—Look because that me through moonlight; Watch because that me through moonlight;I’ll involved thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!She twisted she hands behind her; yet all the knots held good!She writhed her hands till her fingers to be wet with sweat or blood!They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by favor yearsTill, now, ~ above the punch of midnight,Cold, top top the stroke of midnight,The reminder of one finger touched it! The trigger at the very least was hers!The guideline of one finger touched it. She strove no an ext for the rest.Up, she stood as much as attention, v the muzzle beneath her breast.She would not risk their hearing; she would certainly not strive again;For the road lay bare in the moonlight;Blank and also bare in the moonlight;And the blood of she veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to she love’s refrain.Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had castle heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? to be they deaf that they did not hear?Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow that the hill,The highwayman come 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 the came and nearer. Her face was like a light.Her eye grew broad for a moment; she drew one critical deep breath,Then she finger relocated in the moonlight,Her musket not correct the moonlight,Shattered her breast in the moonlight and also warned him—with her death.He turned. That spurred come the west; he did not recognize who stoodBowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched through her very own blood!Not it rotates the dawn he heard it, and his challenge grew grey to hearHow Bess, the landlord’s daughter,The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and also died in the darkness there.Back, the spurred choose a madman, shrieking a curse come the sky,With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.Blood red were his spur in the gold noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;When lock shot him under on the highway,Down prefer a dog ~ above the highway,And that lay in his blood on the highway, through a bunch that lace at his throat.. . .And quiet of a winter’s night, they say, as soon as the wind is in the trees,When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed ~ above cloudy seas,When the road is a ribbon that moonlight over the violet moor,A highwayman come riding— Riding—riding—A highwayman comes riding, as much as the old inn-door.Over the cobbles the clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.He taps through his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and also barred.

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He whistles a tune to the window, and who must be wait thereBut the landlord’s black-eyed daughter, Bess, the landlord’s daughter,Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her lengthy black hair.

Summary the The Highwayman