Bonny Black Bess & Dick Turpin

The thief Dick Turpin praises his mare Black Bess in  Turpin’s ride to York ; or Bonny Black Bess by Henry Milner


Let the lover his mistress’s beauty rehearse, / And laud her attractions in languishing verse ; / Be it mine, in rude strains but with truth, to express, / The love that I bear to my bonny Black Bess.

Look, look ! how that eyeball glows bright as a brand, / That neck proudly arches, those nostrils expand. / Mark that wide flowing mane, of which each silky tress, / Might adorn prouder beauties, tho’none like Black Bess.

Mark that skin, sleek as velvet and ducky as night, / With its jet undisfigured by one spot of white ; / That throat branched with veins, prompt to charge or caress. / Now, is she not beautiful ? Bonny Black Bess !


A. H. SAXON, Enter foot and horse : a history of hippodrama in England and France, New Heaven and London : Yale University Press, 1968, p. 69


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