Travels by The Fireside Poem Summary Meanings Answers Explanations Analysis

‘Travels by Fireside’ Summary Meanings Answers Explanations Analysis given here would help students in their understanding of the poem and preparation for their exams. The poem ‘Travels by Fireside’ was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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Travels By The Fireside Poem

The ceaseless rain is falling fast,
        And yonder gilded vane,
    Immovable for three days past,
        Points to the misty main,

    It drives me in upon myself
        And to the fireside gleams,
    To pleasant books that crowd my shelf,
        And still more pleasant dreams,

    I read whatever bards have sung
        Of lands beyond the sea,
    And the bright days when I was young
        Come thronging back to me.

    In fancy I can hear again
        The Alpine torrent's roar,
    The mule-bells on the hills of Spain,
        The sea at Elsinore.

    I see the convent's gleaming wall
        Rise from its groves of pine,
    And towers of old cathedrals tall,
        And castles by the Rhine.

    I journey on by park and spire,
        Beneath centennial trees,
    Through fields with poppies all on fire,
        And gleams of distant seas.

    I fear no more the dust and heat,
        No more I feel fatigue,
    While journeying with another's feet
        O'er many a lengthening league.

    Let others traverse sea and land,
        And toil through various climes,
    I turn the world round with my hand
        Reading these poets' rhymes.

    From them I learn whatever lies
        Beneath each changing zone,
    And see, when looking with their eyes,
        Better than with mine own.

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Word Meanings: Travels by Fireside

Words Meanings Hindi Meanings
falling fastquickly, dropping down fastतेजी से गिरना
yonderover there (a distant place under sight)उधर सामने (दूर पर नजर अ रहा है)
gildedshiny, covered with gold layerसोने या चांदी की तरह चमकता हुआ
vane a blade that shows the direction of the wind blowingवायु की दिशा बत्ताने वाला यंत्र
immovablenot movingस्थिर, एक जगह रुक हुआ
pointsindicatesकी तरफ इशारा या इंगित करना
mistyfoggyकोहरा या ढूंढ से भरा हुआ
mainmainlandमुख्य भूमि या भूभाग
itthe rainy conditionबारिश वाले हालात
drivesinspires, urges or forcesकुछ करने के लिए प्रेरित करना
gleamglow or a flash of reflected lightचमक
pleasantgiving pleasure and joyसुहावना ओर मनोहर
bardpoetकवि या गवैया
spirea roof that rises steeply to point on top of a tower, especially on a churchचोटी, शिखर
brightlively and cheerfulउज्जवल, शानदार
throngto crowdभीड़ (एक साथ काफी तादाद में आना )
fancyimaginationकल्पना ओर सोच में
torrentsheavy rainभहरी बारिश
groveorchard or a group of fruit bearing treesबाग
castles by Rhinebuilt by the Rhine river between 12th and 14th century as defense strongholds and tall housesराइन नदी के किनारों पर बने हुए किले ओर इमारतें
cathedralthe main churchचर्च
lengtheninglongerओर लंबाई बढ़ाना
leagueolder unit of measurement of around 3 miles (4 km)दूरी नापने की एक इकाई
centenniala hundred years oldसौ साल पुराना
traversegoing and travelling over the earth and its terrainपार जाना (चलते या यात्रा करते हुए)
toilwork hardमेहनत, श्रम
beneathunder, betweenके नीचे या बीच में

Summary: Travels by Fireside

HW Longfellow’s poem ‘Travels by The Fireside ‘ celebrates the pleasures of armchair travel, as the poet creates a comfortable indoor setting by a roaring fire in his library while the rain pours outside. He then embarks on imaginary journeys to places that captivate him through the words and images in his books. The poet takes in the sights and sounds of various destinations, including the Alps, Spain, Denmark, the Rhineland, and vast stretches of the ocean. He revels in the fact that he can experience these far-off places without enduring any discomfort or exhaustion, unlike those who undertake such arduous journeys. Instead, the poet prefers to immerse himself in the works of great writers and explore these adventures through the pages of their books.

Textbook Exercise Solutions

A. Answer these questions with reference to the context.

  1. It drives me in upon myself ..
    a. What does ‘it’ stand for?
    b. What is the poet talking about in this line?
    c. What does this lead the poet to do?
  2. I fear no more the dust and heat, No more I fear fatigue,
    While journeying with another’s feet…

    a. Why does he not fear the ‘dust and heat’?
    b. Explain While journeying with another’s feet?
    c. What kind of travel does the poet prefer?
  3. And see, when looking with their eyes, Better than with mine own.
    a. Whose eyes is the poet referring to?
    b. How can one see better with someone else’s eyes?
    c. Do you agree with the poet? Give reasons.


  1. a. ‘It’ stands for the rain.
    b. The poet is talking about the fact that the rain forces him to stay indoors and introspect.
    c. It leads him to his books and to daydream.
  2. a. He does not fear the dust and heat anymore because he is not really travelling anymore.
    b. He is seeing the faraway places that others have travelled to from their descriptions of their
    c. The poet is an armchair traveller, who would rather read about travelling than actually go
  3. a. The poet is referring to the eyes of travel writers.
    b. The argument might work if a person does not have great powers of observation herself/himself
    and someone else’s account of a place might be more revealing.
    c. Subjective question. Any logically argued answer is acceptable.

B. Answer these questions.

  1. And the bright days when I was young/Come thronging back to me.
    Do you get a sense of what the poet might have been like as a young person?
  2. What does the poet see in each of the places he mentions by name?
  3. What does the poet mean when he says, ‘I turn the world round with my hand’?
  4. What is the poet’s argument for being better off than actual travellers?
  5. What, according to you, are the advantages and disadvantages of being an armchair traveller?


1. The poet as a young person might have been fond of reading books and willing or wishing to travel the world or at least places he would read in books and writings.

2. He sees raging mountain streams in the Alpine regions, the sea at Elsinore, convent walls, pine groves, cathedral towers and castles in Rhineland and hears mule bells in Spain.

3. The poet metamorphically means turning the world around by turning the pages of his books.

4. The poet considers himself better off than actual travellers because he gets to avoid the fatigue, the inclement weather and the grime.

5. Advantages: no fatigue, no dust and heat, no expense, no travelling in real and facing its nuances, instead we can enjoy such travels being by the fireside as the poet does.

Disadvantages: no real sightseeing, no shopping, no photography, no real experiences of weather conditions and the people living there. Maybe a guilt inside of doing fakery to bypass real travelling!

Poetry Appreciation

A. Find the words from the poem which mean the same as these words/phrases.

  1. work hard
  2. climate
  3. imagination
  4. exhaustion
  5. an old unit of distance


1. toil

2. clime

3. fancy

4. fatigue

5. league

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