A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 16, 2013
“The best thing one can do when it is raining is to let it rain”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) wrote in “The Poet’s Tale” of Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863):

“For after all, the best thing one can do
When it is raining, is to let it rain.”


The saying means that there are some forces of nature that just must be accepted and cannot be changed. The saying predates Longfellow. “It is best to let it rain, when it will rain” was cited in print in 1810. “So we had better adopt the cool philosophy of those who, when it rains, consent to let it rain, than to think to change the course of nature by denying her operations” was cited in print in 1852.


Wikipedia: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882) was an American poet and educator whose works include “Paul Revere’s Ride”, The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline. He was also the first American to translate Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and was one of the five Fireside Poets.

Wikipedia: Tales of a Wayside Inn
Tales of a Wayside Inn is a collection of poems by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The book, published in 1863, depicts a group of people at the Wayside Inn in Sudbury, Massachusetts as each tells a story in the form of a poem.

7 August 1810, Democratic Press (Philadelphia, PA), pg. 2, col. 4:
From the Hartford Mercury.
FRANCIS JAMES JACKSON.
This ex-minister of the mother country of tories has been hanged in effigy at Albany, in front of Mr. Gregory;s inn, where the said Jackson was, and Mr. Gregory was greatly hurt in the affray. We are sorry for any injury suffered by Mr. Gregory. He probably felt an honest zeal for his illustrious guest, and has learnt, at his own cost, that it is best to let it rain, when it will rain. No man is powerful enough to set bounds to the waves of the multitude.

16 November 1848, The Farmers’ Cabinet (Amherst, NH),"Submission to Providences,” pg. 1, col. 2:
it is wonderful what an amount of perplexity and trouble real Christians bring upon themselves, by contending with events which are entirely above and beyond their control. How hard it is, sometimes, when the rain thwarts our plans, to let it rain.

19 February 1852, Daily Evening Transcript (Boston, MA), “Unexplained Phenomena,” pg. 1, col. 3:
So we had better adopt the cool philosophy of those who, when it rains, consent to let it rain, than to think to change the course of nature by denying her operations.

Google Books
Poetical Works
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Boston, MA: James R. Osgood and Company
1875
Pg. 272 (Tales of a Wayside Inn):
THE POET’S TALE.
THE BIRDS OF KILLINGWORTH.
Pg. 276:
For after all, the best thing one can do
When it is raining, is to let it rain.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Wednesday, October 16, 2013 • Permalink