"The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes is a classic favorite-a poem that tells a good story with powerful imagery and a rhythmic cadence reminiscent of horses' hooves. The story tells of the highwayman's visit to see the beautiful Bess at the old inn (probably the Spaniard's Inn on Hampstead Heath) and of the terrible fate they both meet. The mysterious ending of the poem suggests that the lovers' spirits still linger on the edge of the heath. Their haunting story certainly remains alive in the words of Alfred Noyes. Look for the musical version of the poem by Lorena McKennitt on The Book of Secrets CD.
As always, we have marked important features of Noyes' poem.
Alliteration - the repetition of consonant sounds, usually at the beginning of words. Alliteration is marked in blue.
Metaphor - A figure of speech
which makes a comparison between two things without using the word like or as.
Metaphor is marked in green.
Personification - A figure of speech in which a non-human object is given human qualities. Personification is marked in purple.
Simile - A figure of speech
which makes a comparison between two things using the word like or as. Simile
is marked in red
Vocabulary words - This unit provides definitions for many words that may not be familiar to you. These words are marked in yellow.
We have marked these devices in the first half of the poem. See if you can spot them in the later verses.
Enjoy the Highwayman!!