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,
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.
"The Highwayman" Alfred Noyes
Written in 1906 the Highwayman is a narrative poem by Alfred Noyes. Both romantic and tragic, its unusual use of repetition is part of its enduring appeal.
"The Highwayman" tells the story of the highwayman, his true love Bess and the man who betrays them to the King's Army with disastrous consequences. This poem is probably Alfred Noyes' best work and the one often studied in schools. There have been debates about whether it is suitable for younger children - after all, both main characters die and the highwayman is a criminal - but its atmosphere and use of language ensures that it has remained popular.