“Windy Nights” is a poem from Robert luigi Stevenson’s most influential collection the poetry, A child’s Garden the Verses. This beautiful poem encapsulates the heart with its winding sounds and makes us think about the horse rider’s identity. Is the a number from a fairy tale or completely a production of childish imagination? The prize is implicit. It have the right to be the personification that the stormy wind or a thing that can not be seen. Whatsoever, Stevenson provides us think deeply through this basic verse recording the night scene throughout a rapacious storm.

You are watching: Windy nights poem questions and answers

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

Table that Contents


The city “Windy Nights” describes a universal photo of nature prior to the storm. Stevenson explains how the night skies gets covered with clouds, hiding the moon and stars. As soon as the wind blows fast along with incessant rain, the poetic persona (representing a child) deserve to hear a male riding by. That rages through his horse against the darkness of the night.

The second stanza defines the stormy night step further. Stevenson depicts how the storm topples trees and also tosses ships at sea. However, top top the highway, the driver goes on. In ~ the gallop, the goes and returns similarly.


The location of the poem “Windy Nights” is a recommendation to the key idea of the poem. V the title, Stevenson provides a hint of the topic matter. The is around a stormy night scene. However, that does not assist readers come dive deeper into the text. For knowledge the in its entirety meaning, one needs to dive deeper into lines. Once they carry out so, they can uncover a civilization full of secret and signs. The sudden appearance that a steed rider renders one thoughtful regarding his identity. However, after reading the text, it i do not care clear that the driver is a personified representation of the stormy wind. It can also be a mysterious figure, an imaginary personality of childhood fantasy.

Structure, luck Scheme, & Meter

Structure & Form

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

Rhyme Scheme

This poem includes a regular rhyme scheme. In the an initial stanza, the an initial four currently contain the different ABAB rhyme scheme. The remainder of the lines type a rhyming couplet. So, the in its entirety rhyme plan is ABABCC. For example, in the very first four lines “set” and also “wet”, and “high” and “sky” happiness together. When the last two lines end with a various rhyming pair “out” and “about”.

This plan is complied with in the next stanza. The rhyming the the last two lines is a little bit irregular as here Stevenson tries to rhyme “then” v “again”. The is an example of one imperfect rhyme.


The overall poem is written of the iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter alternatively. It means each heat either consists of four or 3 iambic (unstressed-stressed) beats. There room a couple of variations as well. Let’s have a look in ~ the scansion the the very first stanza in order come understand exactly how the lines must be read and also stressed.

When-ever/ the moon/ and stars/ room set,

When-ever/ the wind/ is high,

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

A man/ goes rid/-ing by.

Late in/ the night/ once the fires/ space out,

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

Poetic devices & Figurative Language

In Stevenson’s “Windy Nights”, the adhering to poetic tools can be found.

Anaphora: It wake up in the very first two lines. Both of this lines begin with words “Whenever”. It also occurs in the last 4 lines.Personification: Stevenson personifies the stormy wind. That invests v the idea the riding a horse. It also occurs in “Whenever the trees space crying aloud”.Repetition: In the last 3 lines, the poet repeats the phrase “By in ~ the gallop go he”. He supplies three sport of the very same line in bespeak to produce an complex rhyming.Rhetorical Question: It occurs in the last heat of the very first stanza “Why does he gallop and gallop about?”Alliteration: The repetition of comparable sounds can be discovered 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 of a horse.

Line-by-Line evaluation & Explanation

Lines 1-6

Whenever the moon and also stars space set,

whenever the wind is high,

All night long in the dark and also wet,

A man goes riding by.

Late in the night as soon as the fires are out,

Why does the gallop and gallop about?

The location of the city “Windy Nights” sets the tone and mood in ~ the an extremely onset. It create a feeling of secret and are afraid in readers’ minds. There is additionally a feeling of uncertainty at the an extremely beginning.

However, the poem begins with photo familiar come the audience. It defines how the gloomy clouds cover the skies just prior to the storm. Stevenson compares this step to that of the sunset. His persona thinks as if the moon and stars are collection like the sun. But, they room still there just behind the clouds.

According come the persona, whenever the wind blows high and it start raining, he can hear the sound the a male riding by. The speak cannot watch him however he can sense his existence by the an extremely sound. This basic sound sparks his imaginative mind. The is actually the sound of the gust.

This personifies stormy wind rides right into the darkness so late in the night, without bothering the rain. As soon as the fires space out in ~ night, the driver gallops by. In the last line, the speaker poses a rhetorical inquiry to readers. That asks why the rider gallops about. It is a an enig hard to comprehend.

Lines 7-12

Whenever the trees space crying aloud,

and ships room tossed in ~ sea,

By, top top the highway, low and also loud,

By at the gallop go he.

By in ~ the gallop the goes, and then

By he comes earlier at the gallop again.

In the 2nd stanza, Stevenson describes how the ferocious creates havoc in nature. It seems to the speaker together if the storm makes the tree afraid. They begin crying aloud whenever the storm comes. Here, the poet compare the sound originating from the haphazard activity of tree to crying.

The storm renders the sea restless, leading to the tossing that ships. In this way, the poet create a tense and tremulous mood inside the text. The steed rider go not fear such a restlessness in nature. He keeps riding ~ above the highway by make low and also loud sounds.

In the adhering to lines, Stevenson repeats the expression “By in ~ the gallop go he”. This repetition ideas at a sense of continuation. It way the rider proceeds his journey without bothering the storm. At the gallop the his horse, that goes. Then he comes earlier in a comparable way. The activity of the rider reflects the swift and also directionless food of the stormy wind.


Stevenson’s “Windy Nights” taps top top the themes the childhood imagination, fantasy, nature, and mystery. The poem starts with the theme of nature. Steven beautifully explains a stormy night scene. The illustration of a storm alongside its hefty 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 design template of childhood imagination and fantasy comes into play. The poet employs the design template in order to portray how a child deserve to recreate truth in his psychic by making use of the auditory and also visual elements obtainable to him.


Stevenson makes use that the following varieties of images in this poem.

Visual Imagery: The poem starts with a visual image of the night sky and also how it gets extended by storm clouds.Auditory Imagery: The poet provides this imagery in the consumption of words “gallop” and also “crying”. The an initial word is used to convey the sound that the storm and the second one resonates through the sound make by trees throughout a storm.Organic Imagery: This form of imagery is offered to portray the feeling of the child throughout the storm. Because that example, the heat “Why does the gallop and also gallop about” conveys a feeling of secret and confusion in a reader’s mind.Kinesthetic Imagery: The present “Whenever the trees room crying aloud,/ and also ships room tossed at sea” save on computer kinesthetic imagery. Here, the activity of the trees and the tossing that ships room portrayed.

See more: Arctic Cat Zr 580 Top Speed On Zr580, Does Being The Fastest Matter

Historical Context

The poem “Windy Nights” was very first published in Robert louis Stevenson’s collection of poetry, A child’s Garden that Verses. This repertoire of 64 poems was released in 1885. That is written from the point of view of a child. Stevenson dedicated this book of poetry to his childhood nurse, Alison Cunningham. A children’s book of 1880 influenced him to compose this collection. The book has to be reprinted several times, regularly in depicted versions. It is taken into consideration one of the prominent children’s books of the 19the century. The best-loved poems native this collection encompass “My Shadow”, “The Lamplighter”, and also “From a Railway Carriage”.