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156 AMERICAN BALLADS AND SONGS
Our couch the same straw, our meals the same mess, No couple more constant than I and Black Bess.
By moonlight, in darkness, by night and by day Her headlong career there is nothing can stay; She cares not for distance, she knows not distress. Can you show me a courser to match with Black Bess?
Once it happened in Cheshire, near Durham, I popped On a horseman alone whom I suddenly stopped; That I lightened his pockets you'll readily guess— Quick work makes Dick Turpin when mounted on Bess.
Now it seems the man knew me: "Dick Turpin," said
he, "You shall swing for this job, as you live, d'ye see?" I laughed at his threats and his vows of redress— I was sure of an alibi then with Black Bess.
Brake, brook, meadow, and ploughed field Bess fleetly
bestrode; As the crow wings his flight we selected our road. We arrived at Hough Green in five minutes or less, My neck it was saved by the speed of Black Bess.
Stepping carelessly forward I lounge on the green, Taking excellent care that by all I am seen; Some remarks on time's flight to the squires I address; But I say not a word of the flight of Black Bess.