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MY BONNY BLACK BESS (John Ashton - 1888 Street Ballad) Dick Turpin bold! Dick, hie away Was the cry of my pals, who were startled, I guess For the pistols were levelled, the bullets whizzed by As I leapt on the back of Black Bess Three Officers mounted, led forward the chase Resolv’d in the capture to share But I smil’d on their efforts, tho’ swift was their pace As I urg’d on my bonny Black Mare So when I’ve a bumper, what can I do less Than the memory drink of my bonny Black Bess Hark away, hark away! still onward they press As we saw by the glimmer of morn Tho’ many a mile on the back of Black Bess That night I was gallantly borne Hie over, my pet, the fatigue I must bear Well clear’d! never falter for breath Hark forward, my girl, my bonny Black Mare We speed it for life or for death But when I’ve a bumper, what can I do less Than the memory drink of my bonny Black Bess The spires of York now burst on my view But the chimes, they were ringing her knell Halt! Halt! my brave mare, they no longer pursue She halted, she staggered, she fell Her breathing was o’er, all was hushed as the grave Alas! poor Black Bess, once my pride Her heart she had burst, her rider to save For Dick Turpin, she lived, and she died Then the memory drink of my bonny Black Bess Hurrah for poor bonny Black Bess! (Contributed by Mel Priddle - December 2013)

    


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