The Arrow and the Song
by Henry W. 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 afterwards, 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.
Notes and Questions
Longfellow is the poet who has spoken most sincerely
and sympathetically to the hearts of the common people
and to children. His style is notable for its simplicity
and grace. His Hiawatha is a national poem that records
the picturesque traditions of the American Indian. Its
charm and melody are the delight of all children, and
in years to come, when the race which it describes has
utterly disappeared, we shall value at even higher worth
these stories of the romantic past of America and of
the brave people who inhabited these mountains and plains
before the white man came.
- What became of the arrow? Of the song?
- Where was the
arrow found? When?
- Where was the Song found?
- Point out lines
- What is Longfellow's purpose in this
- Why is the
poet's song compared to the flight of an arrow?
- A poet once said,
"Let me make the Songs of a nation, and I care not
who makes the
laws." What did he mean?
- What was the Song
the heart of a
Phrases for Study
breathed a song, flight of Song.