Written by J. Speding around 1870, it was intended for longbow archers but the advice applies to all of us

 ALL YOU NEED (to know)

THE HONEST ARCHER

 

Honest archer, whosoever,

If across your mind there ever

Come, before your shaft be shot,

A vague doubt - will't hit or not ?

Know this, thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and learn to shoot anew

 

If in any the least thing,

From the lapping of the string'

To the choice of finger leather,

Thou canst say, "what matters whether ?"

Know this, thou'll  shoot amiss, 

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and order all anew.

 

If thy nock adheres not lightly

To the string, but either tightly

Sticks in the loose, or loosed, slides

With the shock from side to side,

Know this, thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and lap your string anew. 

 

When to shoot thou tak'st thy stand,

If in fitting of your hand

To the bow, thou dost not care

For the difference of a hair,

Know this, thou'll shoot amiss,

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and fit thy hand anew.

 

If in placing on the string

Thy three fingers, thou but bring

This one too near or that too far,

Not much caring where they are,

Know this, thou'll shoot amiss,

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and fix thy stops anew.

 

If, before thy tak'st thy aim,

Thou can'st not accurately name

One spot whereon with clear intent

Thy sight eye is truly bent,

Know this Thou'll shoot amiss,

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and find that point anew.

 

 

THE HONEST ARCHER  cont.

If having found it, thou dost not

Raise the pile to that one spot,

But let it wander with vague doubt,

Under, over and about,

Know this, thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true,

Thou must begin again, and range you shaft anew

If updrawing to the place

where thou shoud'st, a moment space thee

pause to settle or prepare,

and stoppest short or draw too far,

Know this thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true

Thou must begin again and draw thy bow anew

 

,When all else is ordered sure,

If weary the long strain to endure, thy

Elbow,  wrist or fingers try

To ease other on the sly,,

Know this, thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true

Though must begin again, and brace thy joints anew.

When through motions sweet and steady,

for the last touch all is ready,

if at the last, one muscle or nerve

Start, shrink, jerk, hang back or swerve,

Know this thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true

Though must begin again, and school your nerves anew.

But if the birthdays gathering still,

forbid thy limbs to serve thy will,

And for want of vital juices

each joint its proper work refuses,

Know this thou'll shoot amiss

And to shoot true

Though must be born again, and grow thy limbs anew