The Day is Done
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Stanza 7 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
- What he wants tonight is something a little more down to earth, or "humbler," as he puts it. It's not exactly that he wants it to be easy, or funny, just that he wants the poem or (as he puts it) the "song," to be heartfelt.
- Actually he says, he wants a poem that "gushed" from the writer's heart. That's a pretty intense word. He really wants to feel something and he just wants it to be honest and real and simple.
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
- Now he gives us a few comparisons, or similes to explain what he means. He thinks the right poem should come bursting out of the writer's heart like rain from a cloud or tears from the eyes.
- That last image is important. Readers and writers in the nineteenth century loved poems that made them cry. This kind of sentimental material is a little less common now. Still, think about a favorite movie that always makes you cry. It always feels kind of good, doesn't it? Same idea here. Our friend the speaker wants a poem that will stir his emotions and bring tears to his eyes.