Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last Call

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 moonliglt, and galloped away to the West.


  1. He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon;
    And out o' the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon,
    When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor,
    A red-coat troop came marching—
    King George's men came matching, up to the old inn-door.

  2. It’s deserted in here but I can see why - that tragic ballad. I believe it supersedes “Wreck of the Hesperus” for sinking one’s spirits. Poor Bess. And I thought I had a bad trigger finger.

    Speaking of highwaymen, I have been meaning to commend you on how well you have mastered your “kicks” down on Route 66. They say it is a dangerous highway; people disappear there. For a time I understand it was renumbered 666 - the devil’s number. Gasp. It’s no wonder your bemocking skills, say, are unparallelled.

  3. It's an example of an extremely maudlin pome of times past.

    Bess was screwing a nasty guy. The sort of person who'd rob you at gunpoint.
    The troopers were waiting for him. Bess killed herself with her captor's gun, so he'd get away to rob, maim, and kill other people, instead of being tried, convicted, and executed for his crimes.
    My sympathy for him is zero, my sympathy for Bess is little better. She was his accomplice in his nasty crimes.

    Landlord? A pint of the IPA, please, with the sparkler off.

  4. You are a bloodthirsty Heathrow highwayman haven hater you are, Soubriquet. I liked your first one better. You got your wish in the end, you know. I'll finish it proper, like you couldn't bring yourself to do.

    Blood red were his spurs i' 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 the dust on the highway, with a bunch of lace at this throat.

    I'm more into hats and winged helmets but I'd take a wine red velvet coat too.

  5. Ah yes, the wine-red velvet coat...
    It probably wasn't quite so wine red before he was shot like a dog on the highway.

    Ao then, the following procedure is to put his body into a wrought-iron cage, shaped in such a way as to keep the body roughly upright, and then hang it on a gibbet, at a crossroads on the highway he knew so well.
    And there it would swing, stinking, dropping maggots, feeding the carrion crows, until no flesh was left, a reminder to passers by both of the folly of being a highwayman, and as an advertisement for the efficiency of the troopers.

    Eventually, it would be taken down and the bones tipped into a rough hole by the roadside. Unconsecrated ground, a big deal back then, no prayer at the dying or the interment, and burial in land not protected by prayer.
    His ghost never to find comfort or rest.
    Bess, of course, as a suicide, is barred from a churchyard burial too.

    And now? tourists land over their bones.

  6. A duel! Soubriquet, I believe you have bested the blackguard. Yes, I'm sure of it. [Smiling, she turned and walked out of the bar.]

  7. The blackguard is yet unbested; bloody but unbowed, he may lie in a heap, for now, pooled in his own hot claret, -but watch!
    His fingers still move, curled around the hilt of his rapier. Approach him not, I counsel, lest he springs upright, and lunges, cold steel between your ribs, as he laughs, in a spray of red mist.
    He's a pirate, a highwayman, snatcher both of hearts and purses. Bess never knew of Nell, thirty miles to the west, nor of Maggie to the east, Bess never asked, but then, I dare say he knew nothing of Bess's services to the squire.
    Dig deep boys, pile rocks upon his grave, and... don't travel this part of the highway after dark.

  8. Blackguard? No, Adullamite hasn't even commented.

    U.S. 66 was never U.S. 666. Close, though.

  9. You know, I try never decide what I think about a person by what he is as opposed to who.

    There are a few examples: rapist, child molester, serial killer.

    However, it's harder for me to judge people even turning to crime to survive in a world as harsh and unforgiving as it used to be.

    Plus, I've always loved this poem.

  10. A highwayman is a romantic figure to women. Like pirates and bad rock stars. Women love the danger (of being busted for drugs) and the tatoos and the foul language. They like to think he has succumbed to only their wiles and does not have 10 women in every port/town/lair. The only thing that has greater power is a barbarian in a winged helmet. Then women forsake all they hold dear and faint dead away at his feet. I've seen it happen more than once. More than twice.

  11. Come, come, lover, it was more than close. I'd say it hit the bull's-eye.

  12. Take me off your blog roll NOW!!!!

  13. Remove me from your blog roll!!! Do it!!!!

  14. Be patient. You are making comments to an old post and they are not discovered immediately.


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