In the famous poem "To a Waterfowl" by William Cullen Bryant, the narrator observes a bird flying alone high in the sky while he's on a walk. The overall mood is contemplative. The narrator uses the sighting of the bird to think about the existence of God and relate it to his own life.
As the poem opens, the narrator has already caught sight of the solitary bird and is wondering where it is going. He notes that the bird is flying too far away in the dark sky to be shot by fowlers, which means people who are hunting birds. He contemplates whether the bird is seeking refuge beside a lake, a river, or the ocean.
In the next stanza, the narrator writes of a Power, meaning God, who directs the bird's flight so that it is not lost even if it is alone. The narrator urges the bird to keep flying until it finds its "summer home" in the company of others of its kind, where it can finally rest in a "sheltered nest."
In the last two stanzas, the narrator compares the flight of the lonely bird with his own situation. He has learned a lesson from the bird. Just as God guides the bird in its solitary flight through the sky, He will guide the steps of the narrator in his long path through life.