How Beautiful is the Rain!

English Poems Index

How Beautiful is the Rain! :

How beautiful is the rain!

After the dust and heat,

In the broad and fiery street,

In the narrow lane,

How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,

Like the tramp of hoofs!

How it gushes and struggles out

From the throat of the overflowing spout

Across the window-pane

It pours and pours;

And swift and wide,

Like a river down the gutter roars

The rain, the welcome rain!

The sick man from his chamber

Looks at the twisted brooks;

He can feel the cool

Breath of each little pool;

His fevered brain

Grows calm again,

And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

From the neighbouring school

Come the boys,

With more than their wonted noise

And commotion;

And down the wet streets

Sail their mimic fleets,

Till the treacherous pool

Engulfs them in its whirling

And turbulent ocean.

In the country, on every side,

Where far and wide,

Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide

Stretches the plain,

To the dry grass and the drier grain

How welcome is the rain!

In the furrowed land

The toilsome and patient oxen stand:

Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,

With their dilated nostrils spread,

They silently inhale

The clover-scented gale,

And the vapours that arise

From the well-watered and smoking soil.

For this rest in the furrow after toil

Their large and lustrous eyes

Seem to thank the Lord,

More than man's spoken word.

N ear at hand,

From under the sheltering trees,

The farmer sees

His pastures, and his fields of grain,

As they bend their tops

To the numberless beating drops

Of the incessant rain.

He counts it as no sin

That he sees therein

Only his own thrift and gain.

By H.W Longfellow

About The Poet :

How beautiful is the rain was written by a very famous American poet called Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who lived from 1807 to 1882. When Longfellow was thirteen years old he began to publish his own poems. Later on, when he finished school and college, he became a professor of Modern Languages at the age of twenty-two. Seven years later, in 1836, he became a professor at Harvard. In 1854 Longfellow gave up his job and devoted all his time to writing poetry. He wrote so much poetry that a number of critics point out this led to a lowering of the general level of his work.

This poem shows Longfellow's great gift of being able to write melodious poetry. This poem is really a song of praise. It describes how the rain falls after a hot day in the summer and how various people welcome it. The poem is full of rhythm and beauty.

Words to Know :

Chamber : room

Commotion : bustle and confusion

Dilated : opened wide

Engulfs : swallows up

Lustrous : shining

Mimic : imitation, the children are sailing boats made of paper or sticks

Tawny : brownish-yellow

Therein : in that

Thrift : prosperity (the farmer sees a way of thriving)

Toilsome : full of work, laborious

Treacherous : deceptive, not to be trusted

Turbulent : disturbed and in commotion

Vapours : moisture (with the smell of the earth after the rain)

Wonted : usual

Yoke-encumbered : weighed down and hampered by a yoke (the wooden cross-piece fastened over necks of oxen)

English Poems Index
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