‘The Flying Highwayman’
Later English Broadside Ballads, ed. John Holloway
and Joan Black, (London, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975), pp. 103–104
The Flying Highwayman
Come all ye bold and swaggering Blades,
That go in search of plunder,
With Pistols cock’d and courage bold,
Have Voices loud as thunder.
Young MORGAN was a flashy blade
No youth had better courage,
Much gold he got on the highway,
That made him daily flourish.
Grand Bagnios was his lodging then,1
Among the flashy Lasses;
Soon he became a Gentleman,
And left off driving Asses.
I scorn poor people for to rob,
I thought it so my duty;
But when I met the rich and gay,
On them I made my Booty.
Stand and deliver was the word,
We must have no denial;
But alas, poor Morgan chang’d his note,
And soon was brought to trial.
I robb’d for gold and silver bright,
For to maintain my Misses,
And we saluted when we met,
With most melodious kisses.
After sweet meat comes sour sauce,
Which brought me to repentance,
For now at last I’m try’d and cast,
And going to receive my sentence.
Up Hounslow Heath and Putney too,
I oft made my approaches;
Like lightening I and my horse did fly,
When I heard the sound of Coaches:
When first of all I was call’d up,
In order for my trial,
With my beaver hat and surtout coat,
I stood a bold denial.
I stood as bold as John of Gaunt,
All in my rich attire;
I ne’er seem’d daunted in the least,
Which made the court admire.
From Newgate to St. Giles’s pound,2
Me and my Moll was carted;
But when we came to the gallows tree,
Me and my Moll were parted:
So I took leave of all my friends,
Likewise my flashy Blowen;3
But now at last I’m try’d and cast,
Out of the world I’m going.
I thought I heard the people say
As I rode through the city,
That such a clever Youth as I,4
To die it was a pity:
I thought I heard such cries as those,
Which set my tears a flowing;
But now allas, I’m try’d and cast,5
And out of the world I’m going.
I’m the Captain of the gang,
All in a low condition;
But now I’m going to be hang’d,
I’ll throw up my commission.
So why should I refuse to die,
Now here or ever after;
The Captain he must lead the way,
His men must follow after:
The King was pleased to pardon me,
And on me took compassion,
And freed me from the gallows tree,
All in my low condition.
- Bagnios: brothels. [return]
- St. Giles’s pound: St. Giles-in-the-Fields, where the condemned on their way to the gallows at Tyburn were traditionally given a final drink. [return]
- Blowen: girl, mistress. [return]
- clever: prepossessing. [return]
- cast: condemned. [return]
Notes and page design © Gillian Spraggs 2001, 2007
Text added to site on 14 October 2001 | Page last modified on 28 August 2007
return to top
| site map