The Arrow and the Song

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882 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.

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Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Friends & Enemies, Music, Activities, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Trees & Flowers, Sports & Outdoor Activities

Occasions Gratitude & Apologies

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Henry Wadsworth  Longfellow

Biography

By far the most widely known and best-loved American poet of his time, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow achieved a level of national and international prominence possibly unequaled in the literary history of the United States. Poems such as "Paul Revere's Ride," Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie (1847), and "A Psalm of Life" became mainstays of national culture, long remembered by generations of readers who studied them in school. . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Friends & Enemies, Music, Activities, Nature, Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Trees & Flowers, Sports & Outdoor Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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