How Beautiful is the Rain – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


The poet is NOT talking about a winter rain. He is describing a rain that comes in the middle of the summer.

Stanza 1

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!


  • Fiery – Hot
  • Lane – A path between two rows of buildings, etc.

Questions & Answers

  1. Why does the poet say that the rain is beautiful?
    The poet says that the rain is beautiful because it comes in the hot summer and settles the dust in the air and cools the heat.
  2. Which are the places where the rain falls?
    The rain falls in the narrow lanes and the hot streets.
  3. Why does the poet repeat the first line? Is it a poetic device? What is it called?
    The repetition of the line gives a continuous flow that resembled rain. Yes, it is a poetic device. It is called refrain.
  4. What is the rhyme scheme of this stanza?

Stanza 2

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs
How it gushes and struggles out
From the throat of the overflowing spout! 

  • Clatters –
  • Roofs –
  • Tramp
  • Hoofs
  • Gushes – (Water/liquid) come out in great force
  • Spout (n) – The opening of a tube from which water/liquid gushes out
Questions & Answers
  1. Pick out an example for simile from the above stanza?
    Like the tramp of hoofs.
  2. How do the rain-drops clatter along the roofs?
    Rain drops clatter along the roofs like the tramping sound of the hoofs of a horse.
  3. What does the poet compare the gushing of the rain-water?

Stanza 3

Across the window-pane
It pours and pours;
And swift and wide,
With a muddy tide,
Like a river down the gutter roars
The rain, the welcome rain!


  • Window-pane – The glass-pane of a window.
  • Pours – Rains/flows
  • Swift – Quick
  • Tide – Flow / Wave
  • Gutter – A shallow trough fixed beneath the edge of a roof for carrying off rainwater.
  • Roars – Shout

Questions & Answers

  1. Why is the rain-water muddy?
  2. Pick out an example for repetition.
  3. What is the rhyme scheme of this stanza?
  4. Who welcomes the rain? Why?

Next – Stanza 4

Biju John is an educational writer, educator and the author of OM - The Otherwise Men. He gives live classes on Skype and Facebook. You can attend his 3 Day Classes (English & Business Studies) in Delhi, Bangalore, Qatar and Dubai. His Contact number is 91 9810740061.

Close menu
Close menu