by Alfred Noyes
The Highwayman Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (verse)
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill, (line 69)
In this moment, we pick up the image of the "ribbon of moonlight" (see also line 3). This is a really neat transformation of a man-made thing into a natural thing. In the light of the moon, everything changes, and again we get a little bit of calm perspective on the exciting events in the poem.
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, (line 92)
The speaker closes the poem with the same images he used to open it. This is another really strong image that gets its power partly from the combination of the manmade and the natural. Objects in this poem drift back and forth across that line. The moon becomes a ship, just like the road can turn into a strip of pure moonlight. More than anything else, the descriptions of the natural world give this poem a spooky, almost magical feeling. That's especially true here, at the end, as this poem turns into a ghost story.