What is the dominant emotional mood in the poem "To a Waterfowl"?

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To a Waterfowl” is a spiritual poem by William Cullen Bryant , first published in 1818.  In the poem Bryant, on a solitary walk himself, espies a flying waterfowl overhead and draws a parallel between its journey, guided by a “Power whose care/ Teaches thy way along that...

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To a Waterfowl” is a spiritual poem by William Cullen Bryant, first published in 1818.  In the poem Bryant, on a solitary walk himself, espies a flying waterfowl overhead and draws a parallel between its journey, guided by a “Power whose care/ Teaches thy way along that pathless coast – / The desert and illimitable air –/ Lone wandering, but not lost,” and his own.  This same power, Bryant avows in the final line of  the poem, “will lead my steps aright.”  Faith is therefore a central theme of this piece – faith in a higher power who will guide the poet in his own journey just as he is guiding the waterfowl, keeping it safe from hunters’ eyes through the seasons and through its changing environment.  In faith, as well, there is hope and serenity, comfort in the safety granted by God.  He makes mention of the fowl’s “sheltered nest” among his brethren.

This poem is an early example of the Romantic movement in American poetry, making extensive use of natural imagery and man’s communion with God and the spiritual realm. 

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