Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quotations on Birds Part 3


The robin redbreast till of late had rest, And children sacred held a martin's nest, a. Pope—Second Book of Horace.

Satire II. L. 37.

You have learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms, like a malcontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin redbreast.

ft. Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II.

8c. 1. L. 16.

Whither away, Robin,

Whither away ?

Is it through envy of the maple leaf,
Whose blushes mock the crimson of thy breast,

Thou wilt n >t stay ?

The summer days now long, yet all too brief The happy season thou hast been our guest:

Whither away ?

c. E. C. Stedman—The Flight of the Birds.

The Redbreast, sacred to the household gods,
Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky.
In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted Man
His annual visit.

d. Thomson—The Seasom. Winter.

L. 24«.

Call for the robin-red-breast, and the wren,
Since o'er shady groves they hover,
And with leaves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.

e. John Webster—The White Devil, or,

Vittoria C'orombona. A Dirge.

Each morning, when my waking eyes first

see, Through the wreathed lattice, golden day


There sits a robin on the old elm-tree,
And with such stirring music fills my ear,
I might forget that life had pain or fear,
And feel again as I was wont to do.
When hope was young, and life itself were

/. Anna Maria Wells— The Old Elm


Art thou the bird whom Man loves best,
The pious bird with the scarlet breast,

Our little English Robin ;
The bird that comes about our doors
When autumn winds are sobbing?
g. Wordsworth—The Redbreast Chasing

the Butterfly.

Now when the primrose makes a splendid


And lilies face the March-winds in full blow, And humbler growths as moved with one


Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire,
Poor Robin is yet flowcrless ; but how gay
With his red stalks upon this sunny day !
h. Wordsworth—Poor Robin.

Stay, little cheerful Robin ! stay,

And at my casement sing,
Though it should prove a farewell lay

And this our parting spring.

»»**» Then, little Bird, this boon confer,

Come, and my requiem sing, Nor fail to be the harbinger

Of everlasting spring.

t. Wordsworth—To a Redbreast.

In. Sickness.


Those Rooks, dear, from morning till night They seem to do nothing but quarrel and


And wrangle and jangle, and plunder.
j. D. M. Mulock— Thirty Years. The

Blackbird and the Rookt.

The building rook'll caw from the windy

tall elm-tree. k. Tennyson—The May Queen. New

Year's Eve. St. 5.

Invite the rook who high amid the boughs,
In early spring, his airy city builda,
And ceaseless caws amusive.

1. Thomson—The Seasons. Spring.

' L. 756.

Where in venerable rows
Widely waving oaks enclose
The moat of yonder antique hall,
Swarm the rooks with clamorous call;
And, to the toils of nature true,
Wreath their capacious nests anew.
Hi. Warton—Ode 10.


Across the narrow beach we flit,

One little sand-piper and I; And fast I gather, bit by bit,

The scattered drift-wood, bleached and dry. The wild waves reach their hands for it,

The wild wind raves, the tide runs high, As up and down the beach we flit,

One little sand-piper and I.

n. Celia Thaxter—The Sand-Piper.

Sea Bird.

How joyously the young sea-mew
Lay dreaming on the waters blue,
Whereon our little bark had thrown
A little shade, the only one ;
But shadows ever man pursue,
o. E. B. Browning—The Sea-3few.

Vainly the fowler's eye

Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,

As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,

Thy figure floats along.

p. Bryant—To a Water Fowl.




Up and down! Up and down !

From the base of the wave to the billow's


And amidst the flashing and feathery foam
The Stormy Petrel finds a home,—
A home, if such a place may be,
For her who lives on the wide, wide sea,
On the craggy ice, in the frozen air,
And only seeketh her rocky lair
To warm her young and to teach them spring
At once o'er the waves 011 their stormy wing!

a. Barry Cornwall—The Stormy Petrel.

Between two seas the sea-bird's wing makes


Wind-weary ; while with lifting head he waits For breath to reinspire him from the gates That open still toward sunrise on the vault High-domed of morning.

b. Swixbuhxe—Songs of the Spring Tides.

Introductory lines to Birthday Ode to Victor Hngo.


Fixed in a white-thorn bush, its summer guest,
So low, e'en grass o'er-topped its tallest twig,
A sedge-bird built its little bcnty nest,
Close by the meadow pool and wooden brig.

c. Clark—The Rural Muse. Poems. Tlie

Sedge-Bird's Nest.


Blithe wanderer of the wintry air,
Now here, now there, now everywhere,

Quick drifting to and fro,
A cheerful life devoid of care,

A shadow on the snow.

d. George W. Bungay—TVie English


Tell me not of joy : there's none
Now my little sparrow's gone;

He, just as you,

Would toy and woo,
He would chirp and flatter me,

He would hang the wing awhile,

Till at length he saw me smile, Lord! how sullen he would be!

e. Wm. Cartwright—Lesbia and the


The sparrows chirped as if they still were


Their race in Holy Writ should mentioned be.
/. Longfellow—Tale* of a Wayside Inn.
The Poefs Tale. The Birds of
Killingworth. St. 2.
And in thy own sermon, thou
That the sparrow falls dost allow.
It shall not cause me any alarm;
For neither so comes the bird to harm,
Seeing our Father, thou hast said,
Is by the sparrow's dying bed;
Therefore it is a blessed place.
And the sparrow in high grace.
g. George Macdonald—Paul Faber.

Consider the Ravens. Ch. XXI.

The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
That it had it head bit off by it young.
h. King Lear. Act I. Sc. 4. Line 235.

Behold, within the leafy shade,
Those bright blue eggs together laid !
On me the chance-discovered sight
Gleamed like a vision of delight.

i. Wordsworth—The Sparrow's Ifest.


Down comes rain drop, bubble follows;

On the house-top one by one Flock the synagogue of swallows,

Met to vote that autumn's gone.

j. Theophile Gautier—Life, a Bubble.
A Bird's-Eye View Thereof.

But, as old Swedish legends say,
Of all the birds upon that day,
The swallow felt the deepest grief,
And longed to give her Lord relief,
And"chirped when any near would come,
' Hugswala swala swal honom !'
Meaning, as they who tell it deem,
Oh, cool, oh, cool and comfort Him 1
*. Leland— The Swallow.

The swallow is come!

The swallow is come! 0, fair are the seasons, and light

Are the days that she brings,

With her dusky wings,
And her bosom snowy white!

/. Longfellow—Hyperion. Bk. II.

Ch. 1.

It's surely summer, for there's a swallow :
Come one swallow, his mate will follow,
The bird race quicken and wheel and thicken,
m. Christina G. Robsetti—A Bird Song.

St. 2.

There goes the swallow,—
Could we but follow !

Hasty swallow, stay,
Point us out the way ;
Look back swallow, turn back swallow, stop

swallow. n. Christina G. Rossetti—Songs in a

Cornfield. St. 7.

Now to the Goths as swift as swallow flies. o. Titus Andronicus. Act IV. Sc. 2.

L. 172.

The swallow follows not summer more willing than we your lordship. p. Timon of Athens. Act III. Sc. 6.

L. 31.

True hope is swift, and flies with swallow's

winga; Kings it makes gods, and meaner creatures

kings. q. Richard III. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 28. BIRDS-SWALLOW.


The swallow twitters about the eaves;

Blithely she sings, and sweet, and clear; Around her climb the woodbine leaves

In a golden atmosphere.

a. Celia Thaxteb— The Swallow. St. 1.

The swallow sweeps

The slimy pool, to build his hanging house, ft. THOMSON-1- The Seasons. Spring.

L. 651.

When autumn scatters his departing gleams,
Warn'd of approaching winter, gather'd, play
The swallow-people; and toss'd wide around,
O'er the calm sky, in convolution swift,
The feather'd eddy floats ; rejoicing once,
Ere to their wintry slumbers they retire.

c. Thomson—Seasons. Autumn. L. 836.


The jelous swan, agens hire deth that syngith.

d. Chauceh—Parlement of Fowles.

L. 342.

And over the pond are sailing

Two swans all white as snow ; Sweet voices mysteriously wailing

Pierce through me as onward they go.
They sail along, and a ringing

Sweet melody rises on high;
And when the swans begin singing,

They presently must die.

«. Heine—Early Poems. Evening Songs.

No. 2. The swan in the pool is singing,

And up and down doth he steer, And, singing gently ever,

Dips under the water clear.

/. Heine—Book of Songs. Lyrical

Interlude. No. 64.

The swan, like the soul of the poet, By the dull world is ill understood. g. Heine—Early Poems. Evening Sony*.

No. 3.

The swan murmurs sweet strains with a faltering tongue, itself the singer of its own dirge.

h. Mahtial—Epigrams. Bk. XIII.


The swan, with arched neck Between her white wings mantling proudly,

rows Her state with oary feet.

t. Milton—Parrulise last. Bk. VII.

L. 438.

Thus does the white swan, as he lies on the

wet grass, when the Fates summon him, sing at the fords of

Mcennder. j. Ovid—Kp. VII. Riley's trans.

As I have seen a swan With bootless labour swim against the tide And spend her strength with over-matching

waves. k. Henry VI. Pt. III. Act I. Sc.4.

L. 19.

For all the water in the ocean.
Can never turn the swan's blacklegs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
I. Titus Andrcmicus. Act IV. Sc. 2.

L. 101.

The swan's down-feather. That stands upon the swell at full of tide, And neither way inclines. m. Antony and Cleopatra. Act III. Sc. 2.

L. 48.

A melody loud and sweet That made the wild-swan pause in her cloud. n. Tennyson—The Poet's Song.

The stately-sailing swan Gives out his snowy plumage to the gale; And, arching proud his neck, with oary feet Bears forward fierce, and guards his osier isle. Protective of his young. o. Thomson—The Seasons. Spring.

L. TJ5. Throstle.

In the gloamin' o' the wood The throssil whusslit sweet. p. Wm. Mothkbwkll—Jeanie Morrison.

The throstle with his note so true, The wren with little quill. q. Midsummer Night's Dream. Act III.

Sc. 1. L. 130.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!

He, too, is no mean preacher: Gome forth into the light of things,

Let Nature be your teacher.

r. Wobdswortii—The Tallies Turned.


Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush

That overhung a molehill large and round, I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush

Sing hymns of rupture, while I drank the

sound With joy—and oft an unintruding guest,

I watch'd her secret toils from day to day; How true she warp'd the moss to form her nest,

And modell'd it within with wood and clay.

.<. Clare— The Thrush's Nest.

Across the noisy street
I hear him careless throw
One warning utterance sweet;
Then faint at first, and low,

The full notes closer grow ;

Hark what a torrent gush ! They pour, they overflow— Sing on, sing on, 0 thrush !

t. Austin Dobson—Ballad of the Thrush.



O thrush, your song is passing sweet,
But never a song that you have sung
Is half so sweet as thrushes sang
When my dear love and I were young,
a. Wm. Morris—Other Days.

I said to the brown, brown thrush :


Through the wood's full strains I hear
Thy monotone deep and clear,
Like a sound amid sounds most fine."

b. D. M. MClock—A Rhyme About Birds.

There the thrushes Sing till latest sunlight flushes In the west.

c. Christina G. Rossetti—Somid Sleep.

St. 2.

Sing, sweet thrushes, forth and sing!

Meet the moon upon the lea; Are the emeralds of the spring

On the angler's try sting-tree ?

Tell, sweet thrushes, tell to me,

Are there buds on our willow-tree?

Buds and birds on our trysting-tree?

d. Thomas Tod Stoddart—The Angler's

Trysting- Tree.

When rosy plumelets tuft the Inrch, And rarely pipes the mounted thrush. «. Tennyson—In Memoriam. Pt. XCI.

At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight

appears, Hangs a thrush that sings loud, it has sung

for three years.

f. Wordsworth—Reverie of Poor Susan.


Where deep and misty shadows float
In forest's depths is heard thy note.
Like a lost spirit, earthbound still,
Art thou, mysterious whip-poor-will.

g. Marie Le Baron— The WJiip-Poor-


But the whip-poor-will wails on the moor,

And day has deserted the west: The moon glimmers down thro' the vines at

my door And the robin has flown to her nest.

h. James G. Clarke— The Wood-Robin.

The moan of the whip-poor-will from the hillside ; the boding cry of the tree-toad, that harbinger of storm ; the dreary hooting of the screechowl.

i. Irving—Sketch Book. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.


The happy white-throat on the swaying bough, Rocked by the impulse of the gadding wind That ushers in the showers of April, now Carols right joyously ; and now reclined, Crouching, she clings close to her moving


To keep her hold.
j. Clare—The Rural Muse. Poems.

The Happy Bird.


But then as little wrens, but newly fledge, First by their nests hop up and down the


Then one from bough to bough gets up a tree. t. Browne—Britannia'> Pastorals. Bk. 1.

8c. 4.

And then the wren gan scippen and to daunce. /. Chaucer—Oonrt of Love. L. 1372.

I took the wren's nest;—
Heaven forgive me!
Its merry architects so small
Had scarcely finished their wee hall,
That, empty still, and neat and fair,
Hung idly in the summer air.
m. D. M. Mulock— The Wren's Neit.

For the poor wren,

The most diminutive of birds, will fight, Her young ones in her nest, against the owl. n. Macbeth. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 9.

Thus the fable tells us, that the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back. 0. Tatter. No. 224.

Among the dwellings framed by birds

In field or forest with nice care, Is none that with the little wren's

In snugness may compare.

p. Wordsworth—A Wren's Nest.


Yellow-bird, where did you learn that song, Perched on the trellis where grape-vines


In and out fluttering, all day long,
With your golden breast bedropped with

amber ?
q. Celia Thaxter— Yellow-Bird.


My birthday !—" How many years ago?

Twenty or thirty ? " Don't ask me! " Forty or fifty?"—How can I tell?

I do not remember my birth, you see!

r. Julia C. K. Dobe—My Birthday.




A birthday :—and now a day that rose
With much of hope, with meaning rife—

A thoughtful day from dawn to close :
The middle day of human life.
a. Jean Ingelow—A Birthday Walt.

And show me your nest with the young ones

in it,

I will not steal them away ; I am old! you may trust me, linnet, linnet— I am seven times one to-day. l>. Jean Ingelow—Songs of Sci-en.

i&vcH Times One.

As this auspicious day began the race
Of ev'ry virtue join'd with ev'ry grace ;
May you, who own them, welcome its return,
Till excellence, like yours, again is born.
The years we wish, will half your charms


The years we wish, the better half will spare; The victims of your eyes will bleed no more, But all the beauties of your mind adore.

c. Jeffeey—Miscellanies. To a Lady on

her Birthday.

This is my birthday, and a happier one was never mine.

d. Longfellow— The Divine Tragedy:

The Second Passover. Pt. II.

Believing hear, what you deserve to hear:
Your birthday as my own to me is dear.
Blest and distinguish'd days! which we

should prize

The first, the kindest bounty of the skies.
But yours gives most; for mine did only lend
Me to the world ; yours gave to me a friend.

e. Martial—Epigram*. Bk. IX. Ep.53.

My birthday !—what a different sound
That word had in my youthful ears ;

And how each time the day comes round,
Less and less white its mark appears.
/. Moore—My Birthday.

Is that a birthday ? 'tis, alas! too clear ;
'Tis but the funeral of the former year.
g. Pope—To Mrs. M. B. L. 9.

BL ACKSMITHING (See Occupations).


And each blasphemer quite escape the rod.
Because the insult's not on man, but God ?
A. Pope—Epilogue to Satires. Dialogue II.

L. 199.

That in the captain's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy. i. Measure for Measure. Act II. Sc. 2.

L. 130.


'Tis not for mortals always to be blest, j. Armstrong—Art of Preserving Health. Bk. IV. L. 260.

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament;

Adversity is the blessing of the New.
k. Bacon—Of Adversity.

Blessings star forth forever ; but a curse
Is like a cloud—it passes.

1. Bailey—Festus. Sc. Hades.

Blest Is he whose heart is the home of the great


And their great thoughts.
in. Bailey—Festus. Sc. A Village Feast.

A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I bless'd them unaware.
n. Coleridge— The Ancient Mariner.

Pt. IV.

For blessings ever wait on virtuous deeds,

And though a late, a sure reward succeeds.

o. Coxgheve—The Mourning Bride.

ActV. Sc. 3.

Bless the hand that gave the blow. p. Dryden— The Spanish Friar. Act II.

Sc. 1.

To heal divisions, to relieve the oppress'd,

In virtue rich ; in blessing others, bless'd.

q. Homer—Odyssey. Bk. VII. L.96.

Pope's trans.

A man's best things are nearest him, Lie close about his feet, r. Rich. Monckton Milkkb— The Men of

Old. St. 7.

The blest to-day is as completely so, As who began a thousand years ago. j. Pope—Essay on Man. Ep. I. L. 75.

Jove bless thee, master Parson.

t. Twelfth Night. Act IV. 8c. 2. L. 14.

The benediction of these covering heavens
Fall on their heads like dew !
«. CymbeKne. Act V. So. 5. L. 350.

Amid my list of blessings infinite,

Stands this the foremost, "That my heart

has bled."

v. Young— Night Thoughts. Night IX.

L. 497.

Like birds, whose beauties languish half concealed, Till, mounted on the wing, their glossy


Expanded, shine with azure, green and gold ; How blessings brighten as they take their

flight. «>. Young—Night Thoughts. Night II.

L. 589.

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