In the poem, the lover has to cross the ocean, a mile of "warm sea-scented" beach, and three fields in order to reach his lady's farmhouse.
The poem begins by describing the "grey sea" and how the lover travels by the light of the "yellow half-moon large and low." We get the idea that the lover is in a hurry, as he "gain(s) the cove with pushing prow." His boat presumably moves at such great speed that the waves leap like "fiery ringlets from their sleep."
At last, when he reaches the land, he finds that he only has one mile of beach and three fields to cross before the farmhouse comes into view. The rhythm of the poem, signifying the haste at which the lover travels, is reinforced by kinesthetic imagery ("A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch / And blue spurt of a lighted match"). The end of the poem sees the joyful reunion between the lover and his lady, with their "two hearts beating each to each!"