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Rain on the Roof by Coates Kinney

When the humid shadows hover
Over all the starry spheres
And the melancholy darkness
Gently weeps in rainy tears,
What a bliss to press the pillow
Of a cottage-chamber bed
And lie listening to the patter
Of the soft rain overhead!

Every tinkle on the shingles
Has an echo in the heart;
And a thousand dreamy fancies
Into busy being start,
And a thousand recollections
Weave their air-threads into woof,
As I listen to the patter
Of the rain upon the roof.

Now in memory comes my mother,
As she used in years agone,
To regard the darling dreamers
Ere she left them till the dawn:
O! I feel her fond look on me
As I list to this refrain
Which is played upon the shingles
By the patter of the rain.

Short Summary

It is a poem that tells us about the poet’s sweet memories of his childhood. At night, when dark clouds cover the sky and it rains gently, then the poet lies in his cosy bed listening to the sound of the gentle rain droplets on the rooftop of his house. He remembers that his mother used to tell him stories which gave him immense solace and pleasure.


This poem is about rain. The poet tries to describe the experience of enjoying the rain while lying in the bed in a cottage. He listens the musical sound of the patter of rain on the roof of the cottage.

The rain falls on the shingles and the resulting tingle causes an echo in the heart. It causes thousands of fancies and recollections in the mind.

Then, suddenly, the poet is reminded of his mother as how she used to get up at the dawn. The mere memory of his mother makes the poet feel her fond look. The rain is thus an instrument of reminiscence of past to the poet. The sound of rain falling on the shingles takes the poet to his reminiscent past and the whole reel from the past is displayed in the mind of the poet.

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