Literary Devices in Rainy Day by HW. Longfellow

Literary Devices in Rainy Day

“Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a poem that reflects on the emotional and introspective nature of a gloomy day. The speaker contemplates life’s challenges and their own somber mood. The poem offers a glimmer of hope by reminding readers that behind the clouds, the sun still shines. It encourages resilience and finding solace amidst difficult times.

Rainy Day by H.W Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;

It rains, and the wind is never weary;

The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,

But at every gust the dead leaves fall,

And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;

It rains, and the wind is never weary;

My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,

And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;

Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;

Thy fate is the common fate of all,

Into each life, some rain must fall,

Some days must be dark and dreary.

In “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, several literary devices are employed to enhance the meaning of the poem. Here are some of the notable literary devices used:


In “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, repetition is used to emphasize the prevailing mood of desolation and reinforce the sense of gloom. The repeated phrase “cold,  dark, and dreary” appears both in the description of the physical weather and in the reflection on the speaker’s own life. 

By repeating this phrase, Longfellow intensifies the atmosphere of bleakness and highlights the emotional state of the speaker. The repetition serves to amplify the impact of the imagery and evoke a sense of persistent melancholy throughout the poem.


Personification is employed to give human qualities to non-human elements. One example of personification in the poem is the personification of the wind. Longfellow describes the wind as “never weary,” attributing human characteristics of fatigue and endurance to the wind.

By personifying the wind in this way, the poet adds a sense of life and presence to the natural elements, creating a deeper connection between the reader and the surroundings. It enhances the overall imagery and imbues the poem with a sense of perpetual movement and activity, despite the melancholic tone.


Metaphor is employed to create symbolic meaning and convey the speaker’s emotional state. One example of a metaphor in the poem is found in the line, “My thoughts still cling to the moldering Past.” Here, the speaker compares their thoughts to something that clings, suggesting a strong attachment or lingering fixation.

The metaphorical use of “moldering Past” represents the speaker’s attachment to past experiences, memories, or regrets that have decayed or lost their vitality. This metaphor implies a sense of longing or reluctance to let go of the past, adding depth to the poem and reflecting the speaker’s introspective mood.


In “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, symbolism is used to convey deeper meanings. The rain symbolizes challenges and hardships in life, representing adversity. The falling leaves symbolize the passage of time and the transient nature of life.

These symbols add layers of meaning and evoke emotions, encouraging contemplation about life’s difficulties and its fleeting nature.

Rhyme and meter

In “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, rhyme and meter are utilized to create a rhythmic and musical quality to the poem.

The poem follows a consistent rhyme scheme of AABBA, where the second and fifth lines of each stanza rhyme with each other. This regular rhyme scheme contributes to the poem’s lyrical flow and adds to its musicality.

In terms of meter, “The Rainy Day” is predominantly written in iambic tetrameter. This means that each line consists of four metrical feet, with each foot containing one unstressed syllable, followed by one stressed syllable. The iambic meter creates a steady and rhythmic pattern throughout the poem.

The use of rhyme and meter in “The Rainy Day” helps to establish a sense of structure and musicality. It enhances the poem’s overall aesthetic appeal and contributes to the poem’s contemplative and introspective tone.


To conclude, “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a profound exploration of introspection and the human experience in the face of adversity. Through the masterful use of various literary devices, Longfellow paints a vivid picture of a gloomy day while delving into the speaker’s somber thoughts and emotions.

The repetition of key phrases adds weight and emphasis to the prevailing mood, while personification breathes life into the natural elements, giving them a sense of endurance. Metaphors and symbols evoke deeper meanings, urging readers to reflect on the fleeting nature of life and the challenges it presents. The poem’s rich imagery engages the senses, immersing the reader in the melancholic atmosphere.

Lastly, the skillful employment of rhyme and meter creates a harmonious flow, enhancing the poem’s musicality and evoking a contemplative tone. “The Rainy Day” is a timeless work that invites readers to ponder their own experiences, find solace amidst hardships, and seek hope even in the darkest of days.