->''The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,''
->''The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,''
->''The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,''
->''And the highwayman came riding--''
-->''Riding--riding--''
->''The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.''
-->--The opening lines.

Written by Alfred Noyes in 1906, ''The Highwayman'' is a poem about, well, a [[TheHighwayman highwayman]] who is in love with a landlord's daughter in 18th-Century England and is betrayed to the authorities by the ostler[[note]]the stableman[[/note]] while out robbing. [[DownerEnding It ends badly]].

The poem has remained popular through the years, and was in 1995 voted 15th in the poll for England's favourite poems. Music/LoreenaMcKennitt has also sung a musical version omitting some verses.
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!! Tropes in this ballad:

* AdaptedOut: Tim the ostler is absent from Music/LoreenaMcKennitt's version. [[AdaptationInducedPlotHole As a result, there's no apparent reason given for why the king's army came to ambush the highwayman at the inn.]]
* BangingForHelp: A variation when Bess, tied up, shoots herself to warn her lover away.
* BoundAndGagged: Bess through most of the second half.
* BookEnds: The last two verses repeat the first and the third one.
* CurtainsMatchTheWindow : Bess, the landlord's black-haired, black-eyed daughter.
* DeathIsDramatic: And ''how!''
* DownerEnding: You ''bet''.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: The highwayman.
* ExactEavesdropping: Tim ''just'' so happens to hear the highwayman talking all about his plans to Bess. Uh-oh.
* {{Expy}}: The highwayman is one of Dick Turpin.
* FlyingDutchman: How it all ends.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The opening lines foreshadow the ghostly ending.
* HeroicSacrifice: Bess frees herself just enough to be able to reach the trigger of the musket tied next to her. With no more time, she pulls it, killing herself and warning the approaching highwayman away from the redcoats's trap.
* HeroicVow: ''I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though Hell should bar the way''.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Tim[[note]]the ostler[[/note]]'s plan.
* NoNameGiven: The highwayman, again. Also the landlord.
* RapunzelHair: Bess and the highwayman try to touch hands, but even with him standing up, he can barely reach her. So she unties her hair, which falls easily to his face -- so we're talking hair that's at least four feet long.
* RevengeBeforeReason: What leads the highwayman to end up ''walking right into the ambush his love had given her life to warn him of''.
* SenselessSacrifice: Bess's sacrifice to save the highwayman comes to nothing because when he hears of Bess's death, his rage overtakes him and he returns to the inn, where he's shot dead on the spot.
* StalkerWithACrush: Tim is implied to be this.
* TogetherInDeath: The final lines imply this for Bess and the highwayman.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The landlord, Bess's father. He's given the tiniest mention when the redcoats show up, but it's never revealed what became of him.

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