A coronet done in a golden scroll,

And wheels which blunder and creak as they roll

Through the muddy ruts of a moorland track.

They daren't look back!

They are whipping and cursing the horses. Lord!

What brutes men are when they think they're scored.

Behind, my bay gelding gallops with me,

In a steaming sweat, it is fine to see

That coach, all claret, and gold, and blue,

Hop about and slue.

They are scared half out of their wits, poor souls.

For my lord has a casket full of rolls

Of minted sovereigns, and silver bars.

I laugh to think how he'll show his scars

In London to-morrow. He whines with rage

In his varnished cage.

My lady has shoved her rings over her toes.

'Tis an ancient trick every night-rider knows.

But I shall relieve her of them yet,

When I see she limps in the minuet

I must beg to celebrate this night,

And the green moonlight.

There's nothing to hurry about, the plain

Is hours long, and the mud's a strain.

My gelding's uncommonly strong in the loins,

In half an hour I'll bag the coins.

'Tis a clear, sweet night on the turn of Spring.

The chase is the thing!

How the coach flashes and wobbles, the moon

Dripping down so quietly on it. A tune

Is beating out of the curses and screams,

And the cracking all through the painted seams.

Steady, old horse, we'll keep it in sight.

'Tis a rare fine night!

There's a clump of trees on the dip of the down,

And the sky shimmers where it hangs over the town.

It seems a shame to break the air

In two with this pistol, but I've my share

Of drudgery like other men.

His hat? Amen!

Hold up, you beast, now what the devil!

Confound this moor for a pockholed, evil,

Rotten marsh. My right leg's snapped.

'Tis a mercy he's rolled, but I'm nicely capped.

A broken-legged man and a broken-legged horse!

They'll get me, of course.

The cursed coach will reach the town

And they'll all come out, every loafer grown

A lion to handcuff a man that's down.

What's that? Oh, the coachman's bulleted hat!

I'll give it a head to fit it pat.

Thank you! No cravat.

_They handcuffed the body just for style,

And they hung him in chains for the volatile

Wind to scour him flesh from bones.

Way out on the moor you can hear the groans

His gibbet makes when it blows a gale.

'Tis a common tale._

The Shadow

Paul Jannes was working very late,

For this watch must be done by eight

To-morrow or the Cardinal

Would certainly be vexed. Of all

His customers the old prelate

Was the most important, for his state

Descended to his watches and rings,

And he gave his mistresses many things

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