From “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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.

Which best helps you determine a possible meaning for mouldering?

the phrase hopes of youth, which suggests inspiration

the phrase thick in the blast, which suggests fire or burning

the phrase dark and dreary, which suggests sadness**

the word past, which suggests something that has died or is dying****

1 Answer
Mar 12, 2018

The word past, which suggests something that has died or is dying.


Think of the word in context with its surrounding words.

In this poem, the narrator is lamenting on his current "cold" life whilst thinking about his "mouldering past." It is unlikely that you would know the definition of such an uncommon word like mouldering, so you have to try to decipher it. The word it modifies is "past" which demonstrate a time long gone.

The other answer choices don't relate to mouldering as the poem has gone on to another theme, and they don't modify mouldering past.