The Song of the Bow

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Song of the Bow
(Chappell & Co., december 1898)

The Song of the Bow is a poem written by Arthur Conan Doyle. The poem was included in the 6th chapter of his novel: The White Company (1891) and republished in poem collections


The Song of the Bow

What of the bow?
The bow was made in England:
Of true wood, of yew-wood,
The wood of English bows;
So men who are free
Love the old yew-tree
And the land where the yew-tree grows.

What of the cord?
The cord was made in England:
A rough cord, a tough cord,
A cord that bowmen love;
And so we will sing
Of the hempen string
And the land where the cord was wove.

What of the shaft?
The shaft was cut in England:
A long shaft, a strong shaft,
Barbed and trim and true;
So we’ll drink all together
To the grey goose-feather
And the land where the grey goose flew.

What of the mark?
Ah, seek it not in England:
A bold mark, our old mark
Is waiting over-sea.
When the strings harp in chorus,
And the lion flag is o’er us,
It is there that our mark will be.

What of the men?
The men were bred in England:
The bowmen — the yeomen,
The lads of dale and fell.
Here’s to you — and to you!
To the hearts that are true
And the land where the true hearts dwell.


Music (1898)

Gramophone Reading (1920)

In march 1920, a 78rpm gramophone recording was made by Norman Allin and issued on Columbia Records (UK).

Song of the Bow (Columbia Record, march 1920)

Radio Show (1937)

On 22 august 1937, Nelson Eddy (1901-1967) sang the Florence Aylward adaptation in the NBC radio show The Chase & Sandborn Hour with orchestra by Robert Ambruster :