There was an old farmer in Cheshire,
To market his daughter did go,
And thinking that no-one would harm her
As she'd oft-times been that road before.
Her business at the market being ended
And all her fine goods being sold
Her journey back homewards she wended
Her pockets well lined with gold.
She met with a rusty highwayman
Two pistols he held to her breast,
Saying deliver your money, your clothing,
Or else you shall die in distress.
She being a buxom young damsel.
Dismounted as though unafraid,
One slash from her whip sent him sprawling
And his pistols she took as he laid.
She put her foot in the stirrup
And mounted her horse like a man,
Then shouted back over her shoulder,
Catch me you old rogue if you can.
The rogue soon follow-ed after
But began for to puff and to blow,
Then seeing he could not overtake her
Sat down full of sorrow and woe.
Her father being anxious about her
And finding 'twas getting quite late,
When hoof-beats he heard fast approaching
As she galloped up to the farm gate.
Oh daughter, oh, daughter, what's happened,
What kept you at market so long?
Oh father, I fell in great danger,
But the rogue he has done me no wrong.
She put her grey horse in the stable,
And laid a white cloth on the floor,
They counted her money a thousand,
A thousand, yes a thousand times o'er.
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Source: Copper, Early to Rise (1976) pp.228-229
Roud: 2638 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six