close close2 chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right twitter bookmark4 facebook3 twitter3 pinterest3 feed4 envelope star quill

Poems About Singing

Table of Contents

  1. The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth
  3. Waiting by Emily Dickinson
  4. I'm Saddest When I Sing by William Henry Dawson
  5. Unsung by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse
  6. Singing by Robert Louis Stevenson
  7. The Song Shop by Annette Wynne

  1. 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.

  2. The Solitary Reaper

    by William Wordsworth

    Behold her, single in the field,
    Yon solitary Highland Lass!
    Reaping and singing by herself;
    Stop here, or gently pass!
    Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
    And sings a melancholy strain;
    O listen! for the Vale profound
    Is overflowing with the sound.

    No Nightingale did ever chaunt
    More welcome notes to weary bands
    Of Travellers in some shady haunt,
    Among Arabian sands:
    A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
    In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
    Breaking the silence of the seas
    Among the farthest Hebrides.

    Will no one tell me what she sings?
    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
    For old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago:
    Or is it some more humble lay,
    Familiar matter of to-day?
    Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
    That has been, and may be again!

    Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang
    As if her song could have no ending;
    I saw her singing at her work,
    And o'er the sickle bending;—
    I listened, motionless and still;
    And, as I mounted up the hill,
    The music in my heart I bore,
    Long after it was heard no more.

  3. Waiting

    by Emily Dickinson

    I sing to use the waiting,
    My bonnet but to tie,
    And shut the door unto my house;
    No more to do have I,

    Till, his best step approaching,
    We journey to the day,
    And tell each other how we sang
    To keep the dark away.

    Sing, and the hills will answer,
    Sigh, it is lost on the air;
    The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
    But shirk from voicing care.

    – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
    Solitude
  4. I'm Saddest When I Sing

    by William Henry Dawson

    It's not because my soul is filled
    With love, or joy, or praise,
    Or, that with sentiment 'tis thrilled,
    That tuneful song I raise:
    It's not that Fortune's hand has dealt
    To me more than my share:
    It does not mean that I've not felt
    The blight of want and care;
    It simply means, I do not want
    My friends to share the sting
    That in my heart is buried,
    So I try to smile and sing.
    I trip about from room to room
    Light as a bird on wing,
    And sing and shout and laugh—but still
    I'm saddest when I sing.

  5. Unsung

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    The songs I have not sung to you
    Will wake me in the night
    And hover in the dark like birds
    Whose wings are tipped with light.

    Like birds with restless, eager wings
    That quiver for their flight,
    The songs I have not sung to you
    Will wake me in the night.

  6. Singing

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Of speckled eggs the birdie sings
    And nests among the trees;
    The sailor sings of ropes and things
    In ships upon the seas.

    The children sing in far Japan,
    The children sing in Spain;
    The organ with the organ man
    Is singing in the rain.

  7. The Song Shop

    by Annette Wynne

    Tink, tink, tink,
    Hear the pretty pieces clink.
    How the busy worker sings
    As his tiny hammer rings.
    Little songs are fashioned so,
    Placed all sweetly in a row.
    Stars and colored bits of glass,
    Look in, children, as you pass;
    See, the songsmith's happy things,
    Bells, and laughs, and fairy wings;
    Silver-dreams and dreams of gold—
    (Songsmith, are you really old?—
    Making pretty songs all day—
    Are you really old and gray?)
    Tink, tink, tink,
    We can hear the chink;
    Pretty songs are fashioned so,
    Placed all sweetly in a row.
    See the songsmith's happy things—
    Bells and laughs and fairy wings,
    Stars, and all-assorted things.