Robert Browning's concern in the poem "Meeting at Night" is to see his beloved as quietly and secretly as possible. In the first stanza, the poem describes his arduous journey to his beloved, which involves bringing a boat ashore in a cove, perhaps to hide his means of transportation. In the second stanza, he crosses "a mile of warm sea-scented beach" and three fields. He then raps lightly on the window of his beloved's house, in a "quick sharp scratch" and sees a blue streak, indicating that a match has been lit. When he speaks to his beloved, though it is with "joys," he must use a quiet voice. All of these clues suggest that he is attempting to meet with his beloved quietly, so he won't be noticed by other people in the house. In fact, Browning had to meet with his future wife, Elizabeth Barrett, often clandestinely, and the two began their relationship through letters. The lovers had to elope to be married.