Swans, genus Cygnus, are large water birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations 
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 772-73.
- All our geese are swans.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section II. Memb. 3. Subsect. 14.
- Place me on Sunium's marbled steep,
Where nothing save the waves and I
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die.
- The jelous swan, agens hire deth that syngith.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Fowles, line 342.
- Cignoni non sine causa Apoloni dicati sint, quod ab eo divinationem habere videantur, qua providentes quid in morte boni sit, cum cantu et voluptate moriantur.
- The swan is not without cause dedicated to Apollo because, foreseeing his happiness in death, he dies with singing and pleasure.
- Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, I. 30.
- Death darkens his eyes, and unplumes his wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings:
Live so, my Love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet it may waft thee home.
- The immortal swan that did her life deplore.
- Giles Fletcher, Temptation and Victory of Christ.
- The dying swan, when years her temples pierce,
In music-strains breathes out her life and verse,
And, chanting her own dirge, tides on her wat'ry hearse.
- Phineas Fletcher, Purple Island, Canto I.
- The swan in the pool is singing,
And up and down doth he steer,
And, singing gently ever,
Dips under the water clear.
- Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs, Lyrical Interlude, No. 64.
- 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.
- Heinrich Heine, Early Poems, Evening Songs, No. 2.
- The swan, like the soul of the poet,
By the dull world is ill understood.
- Heinrich Heine, Early Poems, Evening Songs, No. 3.
- There's a double beauty whenever a swan
Swims on a lake with her double thereon.
- Thomas Hood, Her Honeymoon.
- The swan murmurs sweet strains with a faltering tongue, itself the singer of its own dirge.
- Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIII, Epistle LXXVII.
- The swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet.
- Thus does the white swan, as he lies on the wet grass, when the
Fates summon him, sing at the fords of Mæander.
- Ovid, Epigram VII. Riley's translation.
- The swan's down-feather,
That stands upon the swell at full of tide,
And neither way inclines.
- As I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
- I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death;
And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
- (Let music sound while he doth make his choice)
Then if he lose he makes a swan-like end.
- For all the water in the ocean,
Can never turn the swan's black legs to white,
Although she lave them hourly in the flood.
- You think that upon the score of fore-knowledge and divining I am infinitely inferior to the swans. When they perceive approaching death they sing more merrily than before, because of the joy they have in going to the God they serve.
- The wild swan's death-hymn took the soul
Of that waste place with joy
Hidden in sorrow: at first to the ear
The warble was low, and full and clear.
- Alfred Tennyson, The Dying Swan.
- Some full-breasted swan
That, fluting a wild carol ere her death,
Ruffles her pure cold plume, and takes the flood
With swarthy webs.
- Alfred Tennyson, Passing of Arthur.
- 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.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring (1728), line 775.
- The swan on still St. Mary's lake
Float double, swan and shadow!
- William Wordsworth, Yarrow Unvisited.