Skip to main content
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.


  • Activities
  • Arts & Sciences
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Born in Portland, Maine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow displayed an interest in linguistics at an early age, eventually teaching modern languages at Harvard. His idealistic poetry struck a chord with a young country sharply divided over slavery. Poems such as the narrative Evangeline and “Paul Revere’s Ride” made Longfellow the most popular 19th-century American poet.

More By This Poet

The Light of Stars

The night is come, but not too soon;
  And sinking silently,
All silently, the little moon
  Drops down behind the sky.

There is no light in earth or heaven
  But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
  To the red planet Mars. 

Is it the tender star of love?
  The star of love and dreams?
O no! from that blue tent above,
  A hero's armor gleams. 

And earnest thoughts within me rise,
  When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies,
  The shield of that red star. 

O star of strength! I see thee stand
  And smile upon my pain;
Thou beckonest with thy mailèd hand,
  And I am strong again. 

Within my breast there is no light
  But the cold light of stars;
I give the first watch of the night
  To the red planet Mars. 

The star of the unconquered will,
  He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
  And calm, and self-possessed. 

And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,
  That readest this brief psalm,
As one by one thy hopes depart,
  Be resolute and calm. 

O fear not in a world like this,
  And thou shalt know erelong,
Know how sublime a thing it is
  To suffer and be strong.

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

More Poems about Activities

Browse poems about Activities

More Poems about Arts & Sciences

Browse poems about Arts & Sciences

More Poems about Nature

Browse poems about Nature