Longfellow's poem The Day Is Done speaks of evening as the time when poetry and music come alive and soothe the cares of day. The musical setting presents the opening lyrics in the children’s voices: "The day is done, and the darkness falls from the wings of night." These phrases, or slight variations thereof, return as refrains throughout the song. The verses alternate between the TB and SA, with the children interjecting refrains or offering commentary in the background. Finally, the children interrupt the SATB dialogue with exclamations of "a song! a song! a song!" This leads to the climax, starting with the children and then all voices joining together in celebration. The accompaniment delights with sparkling arpeggios depicting the celestial harmonies and filigree patterns for the star-filled night sky.