Table of Contents
Sunrise on the Hills by H.W. Longfellow
Summary of The Poem
The poem, “Sunrise on the Hills” composed by H.W. Longfellow describes the beauty and the glory of nature. Poets believe that Nature has a healing power over man and that he feels enjoyed in the presence of Nature. The musical quality of the poem is truly praiseworthy. The poet used beautiful figurative languages such as simile to make the poem effective and sweet. The poem gives us a great message that we should protect our nature that contains flora and fauna. The unnecessary cutting down of trees and deforestation will destroy our nature. At last, Nature has a spiritual power with its rivers, trees, green-carpeted meadows and sunlit valleys that give us fresh energy and health, and we must know that we are part of Nature and if Nature is dead, humankind will perish.
When the poet stood on the hills, the sky looked like an arch of bright sunshine to him. It was the moment of the sun’s return to the western horizon, and the tall trees sparkle brilliantly in the golden sunshine, and the forests dance in the breeze. The poet looks down to see the clouds bathed in the sun. It was really a beautiful sight to see. Suddenly, the dazzling sun faded from the clouds, scattering like the lost troops in the battlefield. The top of the tall trees appeared like a broken lance, and the pine trees looked gloomy in the rain. Suddenly the curtain of the cloud was lifted, and far below the poet, the lovely valley is seen in brilliant golden light. There’s a river flowing in the valley. It looked like a white cascade (waterfall) on the hillside. The poet is delighted by the magnificent sight of Nature in front of him. He heard a bird’s music while flying over the valley.
The narrator heard the musical sound of the water dropping in the distance. He also saw the blue as far away, and the silver beach and the tall trees on the shore swayed in the breeze. He also heard the church bell sounding in a romantic tone in the village, echoed in all the hills and valleys. In keeping with this lovely sight and sound, the poet can see the smoke rising from the village homes in silence through the branches of the trees. Thus the poet is lost in the beautiful beauty and music of Nature, which is the gift of Heaven to man.
The poet tells us that if we are exhausted with work and the agony of life, please come to the heart of Nature and linger with her enjoying the beauty and peaceful silence of Nature. Soon all your sorrows and suffering will vanish, and new life will continue to flood through your blood and body, and you will be refreshed.
The poet sits on the hill. Very early in the morning, he experiences a brightened sky. He calls the sky as “Heaven’s wide arch.” The poet knows that the sun has risen in the east. Sun rays are falling everywhere. The “woods” are sparkling with sun rays. Strong clouds, which the poet terms “gales,” are blowing very gently in the sun-covered valley (“sun-clad vales”). Since the poet is alone on the top of the cliff, he thinks like there are clouds beneath him. Even the sun rays make those clouds gorgeous. The poet thinks these clouds are around the forest. He also believes these clouds obscure the elegance of the forest. But the poet is able to see several pinnacles of these trees.
When the clouds go away, he realises that these are pine trees that are “blasted,” “bare” and “cleft.” In the end, the clouds vanish. Now the poet sees a lovely valley that glows brilliantly below the cliff. He keeps a close eye on the valley and sees a river whose water is darkened by the “forest shade” which means that the sun rays do not fall on the flowing river. Yet the “white cascade” shines with the sun’s light. It’s morning at last. The poet will sense a noise of bitterness.
At the beginning of the second stanza, the poet tells the sounds he hears and experiences as he sits on the hills. He’s seeing the dashing of the waves. Then he sees how the water shines and lights because of the current of the water. Water flows to the “blue” pool, then to the “silver beach.” There are trees that are bent at the “reach.” Across the valley, you can hear the “Music of the Village Bell” ringing everywhere in the hills. Throughout the trees, the sound of the “wild” horn can be heard. Its voice overwhelms the cheerful voices of the villagers. At the end of the stanza, smoke emerges from below the valley.
In the third stanza, the poet says that if one is tired of one’s troubles and has some sort of pain, nature will cure it. So it’s easier if you’re going to drive. Nature can cure one’s sadness and agony. It will teach people good lessons, such as kindness, compassion, every moment in life, etc. If one is fed up with one’s life, the poet advises the person to go on a path that rejuvenates and refreshes his mind.