"The Arrow and the Song" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1902) | Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

Online Poetry Anthology


  • Memorize the poem.
  • One easy way to encourage memorization is to copy the poem one stanza per day.
  • Draw or illustrate each stanza or line.
  • Compare and contrast the arrow and the song.


Additional Resources

Free History Studies: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Many resources and suggestions for further study.

Henry Wadsworth LongfellowPoetry for Young People: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
While we have enjoyed this illustrated series as an introduction to various poets — Longfellow being a favorite — others might object to the sometimes-abridged versions of some poems appearing inside. (Currently only $0.99 for the Kindle version.)

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