The moon rides high in a starry sky,
And, through the midnight gloom,
A faery scene of woodland green
Her silver rays illume.
Dark mountains show a ridge of snow
Against the deep blue sky,
And a winding stream with sparkling gleam
Flows merrily murmuring by.
Not a sound is heard, save a bough when stirred
By the night-wind's moaning sigh,
Or, piercing and shrill, echoed back by the hill,
A curlew's mournful cry.
And twinkling bright in the shadowy night
A lonely taper shines,
And seated there is a wanton fair
Who in amorous sadness pines.
For her lord is gone, and she sits alone,
Alone in her mountain home!
But 'twas not her lord that she deplored,
For she liked to see him roam.
The joy in her heart is a bushranger smart
Who, lion-like, prowls in the night;
And with supper all spread, and a four-post bed,
She waits by the flickering light.
Equipped for fight, in trappings bright,
Came a band of warriors there,
By gallant Sir Fred right gallantly led,
The 'ranger to seize in a snare.
They spread all around, and the house they surround,
Nine men with revolver and gun;
"A reward's on his head!" cried the gallant Sir Fred,
"And we're nine to the bushranger's one!"
Still gleamed the light in the shades of the night,
And still the pale moon shone;
But no 'ranger came to cheer the dame
As she sat by the window alone.
The warriors bold were freezing with cold,
And wished they were in their beds,
When the echoing beat of a horse's feet
Sent the blood in a rush to their heads!
At gentle speed on a snow-white steed
And singing a joyous song
To the beckoning light in the shadowy night
The bushranger rides along.
A stalwart man was he to scan
And flushed with ruffian pride;
In many a fray he had won the day
And the "New Police" defied.
Up started then Sir Fred and his men
With cocked carbines in hand
And called aloud to the 'ranger proud
On pain of death to "stand".
But the 'ranger proud, he laughed aloud,
And bounding rode away,
While Sir Frederick Pott shut his eyes for a shot
And missed - in his usual way.
His troopers then like valiant men
With their carbines blazed away.
The whistling lead on its mission sped,
But whither, none can say.
The snow-white steed at a gentle speed
Bore the 'ranger from their view
And left Sir Fred to return to bed -
There was nothing else to do.
But Sir Frederick Pott with rage was hot
As he looked at his warriors eight.
They were nine to one, with revolver and gun!
He cursed his luckless fate.
He shuddered to think how his glory would sink
When the country heard of the mess
And the tale was told of his exploits bold
In the columns of the press.
In fury then he marched his men
To the home of the wanton fair
With warlike din they entered in
To search and ransack there.
In slumber sound a boy they found,
And brave Sir Frederick said;
"By a flash in the pan we missed the man,
So we'll take the boy instead!"