Study Guide

To a Waterfowl Summary

By William Cullen Bryant

To a Waterfowl Summary

The speaker is out walking one day and sees a waterfowl overhead. He wonders where it is headed so late in the day. Since it's getting late, and getting dark, he knows that any potential hunters have no chance of catching this guy. That gets him thinking: just where is the bird headed? Then he realizes something. The bird isn't just aimlessly flying around. It's following a path laid out for it by a mysterious spiritual Power. The waterfowl keeps flying and flying, refusing to leave the cold air of the atmosphere for a nice nest down below. Suddenly the speaker can't see the bird anymore, but the bird's lesson will always be with him: God, or something very much like Him, will be there to guide him when he feels most alone.

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