Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quotations on Birds Part 2



'Tis the merry nightingale That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates With fast thick warble his delicious notes, As he were fearful that an April night Would be too short for him to utter forth His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul Of all its music! a. Coleridge—The Nightingale. L. 43.

Sweet bird, that sing'st away the early hours, Of winter's past or coming void of care, Well pleased with delights which present

are, Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling

flowers. 6. Dkummond—Sonnet. To a Nightingale.

Like a wedding-song all-melting
Sings the nightingale, the dear one.

c. Heine—Book of Songs. Donna Clara.

The nightingale appear'd the first,

And as her melody she sang, The apple into blossom burst, - To life the grass and violets sprang.

d. Heine— Boot of Songt. New Spring.

No. 9.

And the nightingale's sweet music
Fills the air and leafy bowers.

e. Heine—Book of Songt. New Spring.

No. 31.

Adieu! adieu ! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep

In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?

Fled is that music:—do I wake or sleep?

/. Keats—To a Nightingale.

Thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down; The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown.

f. Keats—To a Nightingale.

Where the nightingale doth sing
Not a senseless, tranced thing,
But divine melodious truth.
k. Keats—Ode, " Bards of Passion and of


Soft as Memnon's harp at morning,

To the inward ear devout.
Touched by light, with heavenly warning

Your transporting chords ring out.
Every leaf in every nook
Every wave in every brook,
Chanting with a solemn voice
Minds us of our better choice.

i. John Keble—The Nightingale.

To the red rising moon, and loud and deep The nightingale is singing from the steep. j. LfixoFELi/iw—Kent*.

What bird so sings, yet does so wail ?

O, 'tis the ravish'd nightingale—
Jug, jug, jug, jug—tereu—she cries,
And still her woes at midnight rise.
k. Lyly— The Songs of Birds.

0 nightingale, that on yon bloomy spray

Warblest at eve, when all the woods are

still; Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart

dost fill

While the jolly hours lead on propitious May. 1. Milton—Sonnet. To the Nightingale.

Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy !
Thee, chauntress, oft, the woods among,

1 woo, to hear thy even-song.

m. Milton—H Penseroto. L. 61.

Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day; First heard before the shallow cuckoo's


Portend success in love; n. Milton—Sonnet. To tlit Nightingale.

I said to the Nightingale; " Hail, all hail!

Pierce with thy trill the dark,

Like a glittering music-spark. When the earth grows pale and dumb." o, D. M. Mulock—A Rhyme About Birds.

Yon nightingale, whose strain so sweetly

flows, Mourning her ravish'd young or much-loved


A soothing charm o'er all the valleys throws And skies, with notes well tuned to her sad

state. p. Petrarch—To Laura in Death.

Sonnet XLIII.

Hark 1 that's the nightingale, Telling the self-same tale Her song told when this ancient earth was

young: So echoes answered when her song was sung

In the first wooded vale. g. Christina G. Rossetti—Twilight Calm.

St. 7.

The sunrise wakes the lark to sing,
The moonrise wakes the nightingale.

Come, darkness, moonrise, everything
That is so silent, sweet, and pale:
Come, so ye wake the nightingale.
r. Christina G. Rossetti—Bird Raptures.

St. 1.

The angel of spring, the mellow-throated

nightingale. .». Sappho. Frngm. 39. 52



The nightingale, if she should sing by day, When every goose is cackling, would be


No better a musician than the wren.
How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise, and true perfection !
a. Merchant of Venice. Act V. 8c. 1.

L. 104.

"Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet nenr day :
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
6. Romeo and Juliet. Act III. Sc. 5.


Wilt thou have music? hark, Apollo plays, And twenty caged nightingales do sing.

c. Taming of the Shrew. Induction.

Sc. 2. L. 37.

One nightingale in an interfluous wood
Satiate the hungry dark with melody.

d. Shelley—The Woodman and the


O Nightingale, Cease from thy enamoured tale.

e. Shelley—Scenes from

" Magico Prodigioso." Sc. 3.

The nightingale as soon as April bringeth
Unto her rested sense a perfect waking.

While late bare earth, proud of new clothing,


Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making.

And mournfully bewailing,
Her throat in tunes expresseth
What grief her breast oppresseth.
/. Sik Philip Sidney—0 Philomela Fair.

Lend me your song, ye Nightingales! 0,


The mazy-running soul of melody
Into my varied verse.
g, Thomson—The Seasons. Sprinq.

L. 574.

0 honey-throated warbler of the grove!
That in the glooming woodland art so proud
Of unswering thy sweet mates in soft or loud,
Thou dost not own a note we do not love.
A. Chables Tennyson Tcrner—

Sonnets and Fugitive Puces.
To the Nightingale.

Tho rose looks out in the valley,

And thither will I go,
To the rosy vale, where the nightingale

Sings his song of woe.

i. Gil Vicente—Thr \ightingale.

Bow ring's trans.

—-Under the linden,

On the meadow, Where our bed arranged was,

—There now you may find e'en

In the shadow
Broken flowers and crushed grass.

—Near the woods, down in the vale,


Sweetly sang the nightingale.
j. Walter Von Deb Vooelweidk—
Tranj>. in The Minnesinger of
Germany. Under the Linden.


The large white owl that with eye is blind,
That hath sate for years in the old tree hollow.
Is carried away in a gust of wind.
k. E. B. Browning—IsobeVs Child.

St. 19.

The Roman senate, when within

The city walls an owl was seen,

Did cause their clergy, with lustrations

****** The round-fac'd prodigy t' avert, From doing town or country hurt. /. Butleb—Hudibras. Pt. II.

Canto III. L. 709.

In the hollow tree, in the old gray tower,

The spectral Owl doth dwell; Dull, hated, despised, in the sunshine hour,

But at dusk—he 's abroad and well! Not a bird of the forest e'er mates with him—

All mock him outright, by day: But at night, when the woods grow still and dim,

The boldest will shrink away ! O, when the night falls, and roosts the fowl, Then, then, is the reign of the Horned Owl! ?/i. Babry Cornwall—The Out.

The startled bats flew out—bird after bird— The screech owl overhead began to flutter, And seem'd to mock the cry that she had


Some dying victim utter.
n. Hood—The Haunted House. Pt. II.

St. 11.

St. Agnes' Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold.
o. Keats— The Eve of St. Agnes.

The screech-owl, with ill-boding cry,
Portends strange things, old women say ;

Stops every fool that passes by,
And frights the school-boy from his play.
p. Lady Montagu—The Politicians.

St. 4.

It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal bellman,

Which gives the stern'st good night.




Then nightly sings the staring owl,


Tu-who, a merry note, a. Love's Labours Lost. Act V. Sc. 2.

L. 928.

The clamorous owl, that nightly hoots and


At our quaint spirits.
6. Midsummer Xighfs Dream. Act II.

Sc. 2. L. 6.

O you virtuous owle, The wise Minerva's only fowle.

c. Sir Philip Sidney—A Remedy for

Love. L. 77.

When cats run home and light is come,

And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round ;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.

d. Tknnyson—Song. The Owl.

Then lady Cynthia, mistress of the shade,
Goes, with the fashionable owls, to bed.
«. Young— Love of Fame. Satire V.

L. 209.

Bird of Paradise.

Those golden birds that, in the spice-time,

drop About the gardens, drunk with that sweet

food Whose scent hath lur'd them o'er the summer


And those that under Araby's soft sun Build their high nests of budding cinnamon. /. Mooee— Lalla Rookh. The Veiled

Prophet of Khorassan.


Ah, nut-brown partridges! Ah, brilliant

pheasants! And ah, ye poachers!—'Tis no sport for

peasants. g. Byron—Don Juan. Canto XIII.

St. 75.

Or have you mark'd a partridge quake,
Viewing the towering falcon nigh?

She cuddles low behind the brake :
Nor would she stay ; nor dares she fly.
A. Prior— The Dme. St. 14.

Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest, But may imagine how the bird was dead, Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak? ». Henry VI. Pt. II. Act III. Sc. 2.

L. 191.

Like as a feareful partridge, that is fledd
From the sharpe hauke which her attacked


And falls to ground to seeke for succor theare.
Whereas the hungry spaniells she does spye,
With greedy jawes her ready for to teare.
j. Spenser—Faerie Qucene. Bk. III.

Canto VIII. St. 33.


For everything seemed resting on his nod,

As they could read in all eyes. Now to'

them, Who were accustomed, as a sort of god,

To see the sultan, rich in many a gem. Like an imperial peacock stalk abroad

(That royal bird, whose tail's a diadem,) With all the pomp of power, it was a doubt How power could condescend to do without.

k. Byron—Don Juan. Canto VII.

St. 74,

To frame the little animal, provide

All the gay hues that wait Oh female pride:

Let Nature guide thee; sometimes golden wire

The shining bellies of the fly require ;

The peacock's plumes thy tackle must not


Nor the dear purchase of the sable's tail. 1. Gay—Rural Sport*. Canto I.

L. 177.

To Paradise, the Arabs say,
Satan could never find the way
Until the peacock led him in.
m. Lelaxd—The Peacock.

" Fly pride," says the peacock.
n. The Comedy of Errors. Act IV. Sc. 3.

L. 81.

Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while
And like a peacock sweep along his tail.

0. Henry VI. Pt. I. Act III. Sc. 3.


Why, he stalks up and down like a peacock, —a stride and a stand.

p. Ti-oilui and Cressida. Act III. Sc. 3.

L. 251.

And there they placed a peacock in his pride, Before the damsel. q. Tennyson—Gareth and Lynette.


What, wouldst thou have me turn pelican, and feed thee out of my own vitals? r. Congreve—Love fur Love. Act II.

Sc. 1.

By them there sat the loving pelican,

Whose young ones, poison'd by the serpent's

sting, With her own blood to life again doth bring.

1. Drayton—Noalts Flood.



Nature's prime favourites were the Pelicans; High-fed, long-lived, and sociable and free. a. Montgomery—Pelican Island.

Canto V. L. 144.

Nimbly they seized and secreted their prey,
Alive and wriggling in the elastic net.
Which Nature hung beneath their grasping


Till, swoln with captures, the unwieldy burden

Clogg'd their slow flight, as heavily to Land, These mighty hunters of the deep return'd. There on the cragged cliffs they perch'd at


Gorging their hapless victims one by one; Then full and weary, side by side, they slept, Till evening roused them to the chase again. 6. Montgomery—Pelican Island.

Canto IV. L. 141.

The nursery of brooding Pelicans,
The dormitory of their dead, had vanish'd.
And all the minor spots of rock and verdure,
The abodes of happy millions, were no more.

c. Montgomery—Pelican Island.

Canto VI. L. 74.


The petrel's wing, though frail,

Is set against the gale

Which rounds the mariner's sail;

And his it is to fly

In a vortex of the sky.

d. Richard Edwin D\\—The Petrel.


Fesaunt excedeth all fowles in sweetnesse and holsomnesse, and is equall to capon in nourishynge.

«. Sir T. Elyot— The Castle of Helth.

Ch. 8.

The fesant hens of Colchis, which have two ears as it were consisting of feathers, which they will set up and lay down as they list.

/. Pliny—Natural History. Bk. X.

Ch. 48. Holland's trans.

See! from the brake the whirring pheasant


And mounts exulting on triumphant wings: Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound, Flutters in blood, and panting beats the

ground. g. Pope— Windsor Forest. L. 111.


Wood-pigeons cooed there, stock-doves nestled

there; My trees were full of songs and flowers and


Their branches spread a city to the air.
A. Christina G. Rossetti—From House to

Home. St. 7.

This fellow pecks up wit as pigeons pease.
i. Love's Labour's Lost. Act V. Sc. 2.

L. 315.

Thou pigeon-egg of discretion.
j. Love's Labour's Lost. Act V. Sc. 1.

L. 75.

With his mouth full of news

Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their

young. t. As You Like It. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 9*.

On the cross-beam under the Old South bell
The nest of a pigeon is builded well.
In summer and winter that bird is there,
Out and in with the morning air.
1. Willis— The Belfry Pigeon.

'Tis a bird I love, with its brooding note.
And tke trembling throb in its mottled throat;
There's a human look in its swelling breast,
And the gentle curve of its lowly crest;
And I often stop with the fear I feel—
He runs so close to the rapid wheel.
in. Willis—The Belfry Pigeon.


In jalousie I rede eek thou hym bynde

And thou shalt make him couche as doeth

a quaille. 71. Chaucer— The Clerte's Tale.

L. 18,541.

The song-birds leave us at the summer's close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
o. Longfellow—The Harvest Moon.

An honest fellow enough, and one that loves quails. p. Troilus and Crennda. Act V. Sc. 1.


The raven once in snowy plumes was drest,
White as the whitest dove's unsullied breast,
Fair as the guardian of the Capitol,
Soft as the swan ; a large and lovely fowl;
His tongue, his prating tongue had changed

him quite

To sooty blackness from the purest white. q. Addison—Translations, Ovid's

Metamorphoses. Story of Coronis.

The raven was screeching, the leaves fast fell. The sun gazed cheerlessly down on the sight. r. Heine—Book of Songs. Lyrical

Interludes. No. 26.

That Raven on yon left-hand oak
(Curse on his ill-betiding croak)
Bodes me no good.

s. Gay—Fables. The Farmer's Wife and

the Raven. BIRDS—RAVEN.



The Raven's house is built with reeds,—

Sing woe, and alas is me!
And the Raven's couch is spread with weeds,

High on the hollow tree;
And the Raven himself, telling his beads
In penance for his past misdeeds,

Upon the top I see.

a. Tuos. Dabcy McGKE— The Penitent


And the Raven, never flitting.

Still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas

Just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming

Of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamplight o'er him streaming

Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow,

That lies floating on the floor,

Shall be lifted—nevermore.

b. Poz—The Raren. St. 18.

Did ever raven sing so like a lark,

That gives sweet tidings of the sun's uprise?

c. Titus Andronicus. Act III. Sc. 1.

L. 158.

O, it comes o'er my memory, As doth the raven o'er the infected house, Ending to all.

d. Othello. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 20.

The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge. e. Hamlet. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 261.

The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements.
/. Macbeth. Act I. Sc. 5. L. 40.


Poor Robin sits and sings alone,

When showers of driving sleet, By the cold winds of winter blown,

The cottage casement beat.

g. Rev. Wm. Lisle Bowles— Winter.


The wood-robin sings at my door,
And her song is the sweetest I hear

From all the sweet birds that incessantly


Their notes through the noon of the year. A. James G. Clarke—The Wood Rabin.

The redbreast oft, at evening hours,

Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gathered flowers,

To deck the ground where thou art laid.

t. William Collins—Odes. Dirge in


There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year,
By hands unseen are showers of violets

found ; The Redbreast lores to build and warble


And light footsteps lightly print the ground. j. Gray—Elegy. Last St. (Early


Bearing His cross, while Christ passed forth

forlorn, His God-like forehead by the mock crown


A little bird took from that crown one thorn. To soothe the dear Redeemer's throbbing

head, That bird did what she could ; His blood, 'tis


Down dropping, dyed her tender bosom red.
Since then no wanton boy disturbs her nest;
Weasel nor wild cat will her young molest;
All sacred deem the bird of ruddy breast.
A. Hoskyns-abhaijali/—The Redbreast.
A Briton Legend. In English

The sobered robin, hunger-silent now,
Seeks cedar-berries blue, his autumn cheer.
/. Lowell—An Indian Summer licverie.

St. 6.

Poor robin, driven in by rain-storms wild
To lie submissive under household hands
With beating heart that no love understands,
And scared eye, like a child
Who only knows that he is all alone
And summer's gone.
m. D. M. Mulock—Summer Gone. St. 2.

On fair Britannia's isle, bright bird,

A legend strange is told of thee,—
'Tis said thy blithesome song was hushed

While Christ toiled up Mount Calvary,
Bowed 'neath the sins if all mankind ;

And humbled to the very dust By the vile cross, while viler man

Mocked with a crown of thorns the Just. Pierced by our sorrows, and weighed down

By our transgressions,—faint and weak, Crushed by an angry Judge's frown,

And agonies no word can speak,— 'Twas then, dear bird, the legend says

That thou, from out His crown, didst tear The thorns, to lighten the distress,

And ease the pain that he must bear, While pendant from thy tiny beak

The gory points thy bosom pressed, And crimsoned with thy Saviour's blood

The sober brownness of thy breast! Since which proud hour for thee and thine,

As an especial sign of grace God pours like sacramental wine

Red signs of favor o'er thy race!

n. Delle W. Norton—To the Robin

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