H.W. Longfellow is the poet you should turn to when you need motivation and help in understanding the various phases of life. The poet is known to write about the feelings and thoughts people generally experience.
The Rainy Day is a poem that talks about the experience of aging, the feeling of melancholy, and grief in an undefined manner.
While the poem is easy to understand, we have presented a summary of the poem to make it even easier to understand without oversimplifying the poem.
The 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, But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast, 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.
Summary of The Rainy Day
The first stanza is very simple and easy to understand. The poet is describing a rainy day with all the expected characteristics of a rainy day.
The day is dark with the clouds covering the sky. Added to the cold weather, the wind is not stopping, making things even worse.
The poet says he sees vines clinging to an old, moldering wall, struggling to stay there. Dead leaves are falling. All of these scenes describe the passage of old life.
The poet compares the scenes of the day with his life, showing how similar both are. Just like the dark and dreary day, his life has also become dark and dreary, mostly due to loneliness and old age.
Here, the vine is his thoughts and the moldering wall is the past. He likes to think about the good days of the past but with old age, all of that is crumbling and falling as well.
The realization of losing youth hits the poet hard, and it makes the already morose rainy day even more melancholic. The poet is feeling sadness from the coming of the twilight years of his life.
But then the tone changes in the third and last stanza where the poet says that there is no need to worry or be sad about this inevitable change. Even with the clouds, the sun is behind, shining brightly.
The poem ends with the conclusion that no matter what, some days are going to be dull and dreary. There is nothing that we can do other than just accept it. But at the same time, knowing that the sun still shines behind the dark clouds.