“Windy Nights” is a city from Robert louis Stevenson’s most significant collection that poetry, A child’s Garden the Verses. This beautiful poem encapsulates the heart through its winding sounds and also makes us think regarding the equine rider’s identity. Is it a number from a fairy story or purely a creation of childish imagination? The price is implicit. It have the right to be the personification that the stormy wind or a thing that cannot be seen. Whatsoever, Stevenson makes us think deeply with this simple verse record the night scene throughout a rapacious storm.

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Read the complete text that “Windy Nights” below in the analysis section.

Table the Contents


The poem “Windy Nights” describes a universal picture of nature prior to the storm. Stevenson explains how the night skies gets extended with clouds, hiding the moon and also stars. As soon as the wind blows fast in addition to incessant rain, the poetic persona (representing a child) can hear a male riding by. That rages with his horse versus the darkness of the night.

The second stanza defines the stormy night scene further. Stevenson depicts just how the storm topples trees and tosses ships in ~ sea. However, ~ above the highway, the rider goes on. At the gallop, he goes and returns similarly.


The title of the city “Windy Nights” is a reference to the key idea that the poem. With the title, Stevenson offers a hint of the subject matter. It is about a stormy night scene. However, it does not aid readers come dive deeper into the text. For knowledge the overall meaning, one needs to dive deeper into lines. When they perform so, castle can uncover a civilization full of an enig and signs. The sudden appearance the a equine rider renders one thoughtful concerning his identity. However, after analysis the text, it i do not care clear the the driver is a personified depiction of the stormy wind. The can additionally be a mysterious figure, one imaginary personality of childhood fantasy.

Structure, happiness Scheme, & Meter

Structure & Form

“Windy Nights” is a children’s city that consists of two stanzas. Each stanza contains six lines. That is created from the view of a child who details the night scene. The sing-song-like framework of the poem makes it an example of a lyric.

Rhyme Scheme

This poem has a consistent rhyme scheme. In the very first stanza, the first four currently contain the alternative ABAB rhyme scheme. The remainder of the lines form a rhyming couplet. So, the overall rhyme system is ABABCC. Because that example, in the first four present “set” and “wet”, and “high” and also “sky” happiness together. When the last 2 lines finish with a different rhyming pair “out” and also “about”.

This scheme is adhered to in the next stanza. The rhyming of the last two lines is a bit irregular as right here Stevenson tries to rhyme “then” v “again”. The is an instance of one imperfect rhyme.


The overall poem is created of the iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter alternatively. It means each line either is composed of 4 or 3 iambic (unstressed-stressed) beats. There space a few variations together well. Let’s have a look at the scansion of the an initial stanza in order come understand exactly how the lines have to be read and also stressed.

When-ever/ the moon/ and also stars/ are set,

When-ever/ the wind/ is high,

All night/ lengthy in/ the dark/ and also wet,

A man/ walk rid/-ing by.

Late in/ the night/ when the fires/ room out,

Why does/ he gallop/ and gallop/ a-bout?

Poetic devices & Figurative Language

In Stevenson’s “Windy Nights”, the following poetic gadgets can it is in found.

Anaphora: It wake up in the an initial two lines. Both of these lines start with the word “Whenever”. It likewise occurs in the last 4 lines.Personification: Stevenson personifies the stormy wind. The invests v the idea of riding a horse. It additionally occurs in “Whenever the trees are crying aloud”.Repetition: In the last 3 lines, the poet repeats the expression “By at the gallop goes he”. He supplies three sports of the same line in bespeak to produce an intricate rhyming.Rhetorical Question: It occurs in the last line of the an initial stanza “Why does he gallop and gallop about?”Alliteration: The repeat of similar sounds can be found in “stars are set”, “gallop and gallop”, “low and also loud”, etc.Onomatopoeia: In the poem, the sound the the storm resonates v the galloping sound that a horse.

Line-by-Line analysis & Explanation

Lines 1-6

Whenever the moon and also stars space set,

at any time the wind is high,

All night lengthy in the dark and also wet,

A male goes speak by.

Late in the night when the fires space out,

Why does the gallop and gallop about?

The title of the poem “Windy Nights” to adjust the tone and mood at the really onset. It create a feeling of an enig and fear in readers’ minds. Over there is also a feeling of uncertainty at the very beginning.

However, the poem begins with an image familiar to the audience. It explains how the gloomy clouds cover the skies just before the storm. Stevenson to compare this step to the of the sunset. His persona thinks as if the moon and stars are set like the sun. But, they are still there just behind the clouds.

According to the persona, whenever the wind blows high and it start raining, he have the right to hear the sound that a man riding by. The speak cannot check out him however he have the right to sense his presence by the really sound. This an easy sound sparks his imaginative mind. That is in reality the sound the the gust.

This personifies stormy wind rides into the darkness so late in the night, there is no bothering the rain. When the fires are out in ~ night, the driver gallops by. In the last line, the speaker poses a rhetorical question to readers. That asks why the rider gallops about. The is a secret hard to comprehend.

Lines 7-12

Whenever the trees are crying aloud,

and ships space tossed at sea,

By, top top the highway, low and loud,

By in ~ the gallop walk he.

By in ~ the gallop he goes, and also then

By that comes ago at the gallop again.

In the 2nd stanza, Stevenson defines how the ferocious creates havoc in nature. It appears to the speaker together if the storm provides the tree afraid. They start crying big whenever the storm comes. Here, the poet compare the sound originating from the haphazard activity of tree to crying.

The storm makes the sea restless, leading to the tossing that ships. In this way, the poet create a tense and tremulous mood within the text. The horse rider walk not fear such a restlessness in nature. The keeps riding top top the highway by make low and loud sounds.

In the complying with lines, Stevenson repeats the phrase “By at the gallop go he”. This repetition ideas at a sense of continuation. It method the rider proceeds his journey without bothering the storm. At the gallop of his horse, the goes. Climate he comes back in a comparable way. The movement of the rider shows the swift and directionless course of the stormy wind.


Stevenson’s “Windy Nights” taps ~ above the themes the childhood imagination, fantasy, nature, and also mystery. The poem starts with the theme of nature. Steven beautifully defines a stormy night scene. The illustration of a storm together its heavy sound create a feeling of mystery. Stevenson’s persona, who represents a child, imagines the storm to be a man riding a horse. From this section, the theme of childhood imagination and fantasy comes into play. The poet employs the theme in order to portray just how a child deserve to recreate truth in his mental by utilizing the auditory and visual elements obtainable to him.


Stevenson renders use of the following species of images in this poem.

Visual Imagery: The poem begins with a visual picture of the night sky and how that gets covered by storm clouds.Auditory Imagery: The poet uses this imagery in the usage of words “gallop” and also “crying”. The an initial word is provided to convey the sound the the storm and also the second one resonates v the sound make by trees during a storm.Organic Imagery: This kind of imagery is used to portray the feelings of the child throughout the storm. For example, the line “Why does the gallop and gallop about” conveys a feeling of mystery and man in a reader’s mind.Kinesthetic Imagery: The currently “Whenever the trees space crying aloud,/ and ships are tossed in ~ sea” save on computer kinesthetic imagery. Here, the movement of the trees and the tossing of ships room portrayed.

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Historical Context

The poem “Windy Nights” was an initial published in Robert luigi Stevenson’s repertoire of poetry, A children Garden of Verses. This repertoire of 64 poems was published in 1885. That is created from the allude of watch of a child. Stevenson specialized this book of poetry to his childhood nurse, Alison Cunningham. A children’s publication of 1880 inspired him to write this collection. The book has been reprinted several times, regularly in shown versions. The is thought about one that the prominent children’s books of the 19the century. The best-loved poems from this collection incorporate “My Shadow”, “The Lamplighter”, and also “From a Railway Carriage”.