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The Highwayman

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  3,631 ratings  ·  178 reviews

Alfred Noyes's famous poem still has the power to thrill us as we read the story of the highwayman and his doomed love for Bess, the landlord's black-eyed daughter. This classic story of sacrifice in the name of true love has been a favorite with generations of young readers. The powerful, evocative language of Alfred Noyes's verses echoes through the centuries, complement
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 1st 1983 by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books (first published 1981)
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This book might be the single biggest factor in my daughter's fascination with the macabre and spooky.

Seven years old now, Brontë loves anything horror. She loves to be scared, and her artwork reflects that. She draws zombies and vampires and all the girls in her pictures look like the lead actresses from any Tim Burton movie you'd like to choose.

When she was very little, just a toddler, some friends gave us The Highwayman, and it's rhythm fast made it a favourite around our house. Both Brontë
As I am starting to write this review I am listening to "All Soul's Night" by Loreena McKennitt, which is fitting because she is the reason why I read this poem. I find it impossible to talk about this poem without talking about her. She's great; she's a bard.

I first encountered her poem on the first ablum of McKennit's I ever listened to - this was back when they were still producing tapes. I still have the tape, by the way. On her The Book of Secrets McKennitt set this poem to music and sang i
I have always loved ballads as a child, because of the wonderful romantic dramas that came packaged in attractive rhyming stanzas. Yet according to me, out of the hundreds of ballads that I've read/heard, i guess that this is forever going to be the BEST one ever!

We had it as a part of our school text when I was in my 8th standard, and thanks to the wonderful skills of our lovely English teacher Mrs. Basu, we went on to appreciate it even more than if I'd just read it on the go! Even though its
Julianna Germono
The amazing poem, The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, is a dramatic romance about The Highwayman who is a robber that is in love with his bonny sweetheart, Bess, the landlord's daughter. But, when the highwayman leaves Bess to go rob someone, the Redcoats (King George's men) come to find the highwayman. Instead, the Redcoats use Bess as a hostage to be "bait" for the highwayman to come back. However, in the name of love, Bess takes the musket and shoots herself as a warning that the highwayman shou ...more
Dinah Roma
Summary:The Highwayman was more of a dramatic romance story about 2 people such as the Highwayman and Bess sacrificing their lives trying to save each other. Tim was most likely jealous so he told the redcoats about the highwayman since he wanted Bess all to himself. Sadly, he didn't know Bess would die too.

Believable Characters:The characters seem very real because they have real emotions. They just seem very real.

Appearance:I imagined the highwayman as a tall man with blond hair with a blond m
Anna Ranario
The Highwayman is written by Alfred Noyes. This story is written as a poem and is a mixture of drama, romance, and violence. The Highwayman takes place around the 1800s and is about how a highwayman loves Bess, and how it goes down hill when the redcoats comes for him and Bess.
The main characters in this story is the Highwayman and Bess. Some minor characters are the red coats and Tim the ostler. The characters in the book seem very realistic to me. In my mind, I see the Highwayman has a very
Alfred Noyes's "The Highwayman" illustrated by Murray Kimber as part of the Visions in Poetry series.

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart,
I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold
before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply,
and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight,
though hell should bar the way.”

(One thing I don't like about the Visions in Poetry series is that they change the spacing of
I've been in love with this poem since I first read it in my 7th grade English class. The terrible fate of the two lovers, Bess and her Highwayman, is so tragic. I love how the ending implies that their spirits still linger at the old Inn after death. It's a beautiful poem and a personal favorite of mine.
This version combines the classic, tragic--romantic poem with art deco 1920s style illustrations. An unusual but visually stunning and beautiful mix.
Huda AbuKhoti
The poet has given an amazingly vivid picture of all the events occurring during that highwayman absence... All the little details of his love, Bess, waiting and being scared for his safety, shooting herself to warn her lover and that tragic end for both...

If not for the last lines of this poem I would have been quite upset with that painful love story. I do believe that in certain winter nights, his ghost still rides down the highway to meet Bess.

I do not believe in tragic love stories... I al
The Highwayman has a girlfriend called Bess who, while the highwayman is off committing his robberies is tied up and used as bait to catch him. How will she warn him?

Fantastic for teaching metaphors and similes. The story line had really hooked the children in my class (low ability ks3/upper ks2)
lots of resources including a fantastic comic of the final stanza which shows the moon upon clouds when using metaphors to describe this.
even in the EDP the children who had been to previous schools
★ Jess
My absolute favorite poem of all time. It is written incredibly well, full of remarkable imagery and an utterly heartbreaking plot. Its a quick read, but I will never forget this stunning piece of work.
Tell me this is not the greatest stanza written in the english language:

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight, looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding-
Riding, riding-
Sierra Holman
Somewhere in England or the England colonies, a robber called the Highwayman comes to see the landlord's black eyed daughter, at the inn. He tells her that he will be back by moonlight with gold and treasure, "though hell should bar the way." The creepy ostler,Tim listened jealously, because he too loved the landlord's daughter named, Bess. As soon as the Highwayman kissed Bess's hair goodbye, he once again rode off into the moonlit plain. Awhile after, red-coats came marching right up to the in ...more
Robert  Nochez
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes is an awesome poem that is weird at first, but once you understand it, you can see why it is truly a work of art. The whole poem is about a beautiful couple, the Highwayman and Bess. The Highwayman has gone on a run to steal, and has left Bess all alone in her Dad's property. While gone, the red coats have came due to Tim telling them about where the Highwayman lives. He did this, since he secretly loves Bess. When the red coats raided their home, Bess makes a sacr ...more
The Highwayman is a great story about a highwayman who is in love with a woman, Bess. When the highwayman goes out to rob people, he promises he will be back by the moonlight. Tim the ostler listens to the highwayman in the sheds and orders red coats to get ride of him so he can be with his love,Bess, the landlords red lipped daughter. But, that turns out bad for Tim. It takes place in the 1700's although it was written in the 1900's. The characters in the book are very believable, although it g ...more
Alex Krueger
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes is one of the greatest poems I have ever read. It starts off with the highwayman riding down the road, a "ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor", towards the old inn door. There he taps the shutters with his whip, but it it barred. He then whistles a tune and Bess, the landlords daughter is there. She falls in love with him, and he promises to return from his robbing the next morning, but if the redcoats harry him, he shal return by midnight. All of this was hea ...more
Philip Le
The story "The Highwayman" is about the strength of love and the effects it can have on people's lives. The highwayman and Bess have a forbidden love that is discovered by Tim, a man who also loves Bess. After telling the redcoats, they capture Bess and hold her hostage in a trap set for the highwayman. Bess gains a musket and shoots herself to warn the highwayman about the trap that was set for him. After discovering Bess' death, he attacks the redcoats and is killed. The theme of the story is ...more
This is without doubt my all time favourite poem. I first read it when we had to study it for English Literature in secondary school and remember being totally captivated by it. I have just reread it after finally getting my hands on a copy and I loved it even more this time around. It's dark, romantic, haunting and gothic and is one of those poems that I think most people will enjoy, even if poetry is not normally 'your thing'. This edition also has some nice illustrations by Charles Keeping wh ...more
Liliana Young
The Highwayman was a very interesting poem.The characters seemed believable because, Bess took her own life for warning her one true love.
The Highwayman looked in my opinion he looked like a cowboy on a highway,and Bess looked like a beautiful young woman with luxurious black hair and black eyes.A quote from the poem is " Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath, Then her finger moved in the moonlight, Her musket shattered the moonlight, Shattered her breast in the moonligh
Gabriel Knebel
I thought The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes was NOT MATHEMATICAL! It takes place in what seems like the old west/ forest mash-up. The characters were not believable because there were no pictures, mostly. To me, the highwayman looks like this dude with a red jacket and a big fat gun and a sword. Honestly, I think there was too much blood(because there was blood). There was also too much romance(because there was romance). It's also kind of creepy because of the random stalker dude. THIS BOOK WAS NO ...more
Eşkıya ve Hancı kızı Bess'in öyküsünü anlatır. Ay'ın gökyüzünde hayalet bir gemi gibi süzüldüğü bir gecede karşılaşırlar. Bess hanın üst kattaki penceresinden bakmaktadır ve Eşkıya'nın geldiğini görür. Eşkıya gelip ondan bir öpücük ister, Bess onun yerine upuzun simsiyah saçlarını uzatır. Saçlarının kokusunu alan Eşkıya, "Beni bekle, şu an bir görevdeyim fakat cehennem engel olsa bile geri geleceğim." der. Ve gider...

Yoldan Kral'ın adamlarının ayak sesleri yankılanır bu sefer. Hancı ve kızı Bess
Teegan Chism
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. This takes place around the 1900s. The main character are Bess and the Highwayman. The characters seem believable because this story is basest on the 1900s. The highwayman is a fancy person. Bess has black hair and black eyes. The characters are in love with each other. Bess ties a red love not in her hair to show the love for the Highwayman. This book was good because it has action, romance, and violence.
I read this poem such a long time ago when I was in my childhood. My grandma loves poetry and this is one that she'd read to me. I had the book and really enjoyed this poem, at the time mostly because I liked how it flowed and that it painted a clear picture. I also liked the historic feel to it, which has always been an interest of mine. Now I like it even more due to the romantic feel of it.
Hannah Barton
This poem was very interesting. I loved how they made it seem very scary. Some parts were kind of confusing but when you break it down it makes sense. This poem takes place around the 1700's. This story is kind of a ghost story if you think about it.
Kyle Vandegrift
A highway man that has no name goes to see his girlfriend Bess at her fathers inn. The Highwayman talks to Bess about stealing gold and a man named Tim (an ostler) overhears them talking and informs the redcoats about what he will do. The redcoats tie up Bess and put a musket by her. She hears the Highway man come and shoots herself to warn the highwayman. The Highwayman comes to get revenge but gets shot and dies as well. The characters seem sort of real to me but the way the poem says it, it d ...more
Gauge Anton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gianna Nielsen
In the poem, "The Highwayman", (by Alfred Noyes) The landlords daughter Bess, will do whatever it takes to keep her love, the Highwayman, out of danger... even if that means ending her own life to save his. The characters in the book do seem believable to me because of their tone and actions. In my mind, Bess, the landlords daughter, has pale skin, with deep black hair that looks like a clear night. The highwayman on the other hand is very tall with deep brown hair almost like brownies and with ...more
The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes, was a very good poem. It showed how much a girl could sacrifice for love and how much courage you could ever have.
Basically, The highwayman was in love with the landlords daughter and sacrificed herself and life for him. The characters in this poem seem really real, because the words and actions and also the set, is so real life. The main character Bess the landlords daughter in my mind looks like a young lady with long black hair and big eyes, and lips. The bigg

The highway man is a mixture of love, adventure, and action. The highway man is in love with the land lord's daughter Bess. He said to Bess that he would be back moonlight even though hell should bar the way. The time came and yet the highway man didn't come. Instead the red coats came. They acted very rude and didn't even say a word to the land lord. Instead they drank his beer. Then they wen't to his daughter and they tied her up and told her to look for the highway man...

The characters seeme
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“And still on a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy's ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding--
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter--
Bess, the landlord's daughter--
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.”
“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.”
More quotes…