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The Highwayman

The Highwayman


by Alfred Noyes

Stanza 14 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Lines 79-80

He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood.

  • The highwayman hears the warning, even though he doesn't know where it came from, and he takes off back to the west.
  • The speaker takes a moment to focus on the tragic scene of Bess, bent over the musket, soaked in blood. Pretty grim, huh?

Lines 81-84

Not till the dawn he heard it, his face grew gray to hear
How Bess, the landlord's daughter,
The landlord's black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

  • Finally, the highwayman does hear what happened, although it's not clear how he finds out. His face goes gray when he hears the news.
  • We get another short review of poor Bess's death. A lot of this poem's impact is based on repetition.

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