Birds

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I was always a lover of soft-winged things.

Birds are bipedal, warm-blooded, oviparous vertebrate animals characterized primarily by feathers, forelimbs modified as wings, and hollow bones.

Quotes[edit]

Birds, generally[edit]

  • "The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again".
    • Early 20th century ornithologist and naturalist, Charles "William Beebe", The Bird: Its Form and Function (1906).
  • Observe intently the birds of heaven, because they do not sow seed or reap or gather into storehouses; still YOUR heavenly Father feeds them. Are YOU not worth more than they are?
  • Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove,
    The Linnet and Thrush say, "I love and I love!"
    In the winter they're silent—the wind is so strong;
    What it says, I don't know, but it sings a loud song.
    But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather,
    And singing, and loving—all come back together.
    But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love,
    The green fields below him, the blue sky above,
    That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he—
    "I love my Love, and my Love loves me!"
  • Thou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
    Why takest thou its melancholy voice,
    And with that boding cry
    Along the waves dost thou fly?
    Oh! rather, bird, with me
    Through this fair land rejoice!
    • Richard Henry Dana, The Little Beach Bird, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 57.
  • The bird is my neighbour, a whimsical fellow and dim;
    There is in the lake a nobility falling on him.
    The bird is a noble, he turns to the sky for a theme,
    And the ripples are thoughts coming out to the edge of a dream.
    The bird is both ancient and excellent, sober and wise,
    But he never could spend all the love that is sent for his eyes.
    He bleats no instruction, he is not an arrogant drummer;
    His gown is simplicity - blue as the smoke of the summer.
    How patient he is as he puts out his wings for the blue!
    His eyes are as old as the twilight, and calm as the dew.
    The bird is my neighbour, he leaves not a claim for a sigh,
    He moves as the guest of the sunlight - he roams in the sky.
    The bird is a noble, he turns to the sky for a theme,
    And the ripples are thoughts coming out to the edge of a dream.
  • There are people who love birds so much they free them. There are others who love them so much they cage them.
    • Gene Wolfe, The Book of the Long Sun, Volume 3: Caldé of the Long Sun (1994), Volume 3, Ch. 4.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

A bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. ~ Ecclesiastes. X. 20
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 69-70.
  • Birds of a feather will gather together.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section I. Memb. 1, Subsect. 2.
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
  • You must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff.
  • Never look for birds of this year in the nests of the last.
  • A bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.
    • Ecclesiastes. X. 20.
  • To warm their little loves the birds complain.
  • A feather in hand is better than a bird in the air.
  • Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood.
  • The nightingale has a lyre of gold,
    The lark's is a clarion call,
    And the blackbird plays but a boxwood flute,
    But I love him best of all.

    For his song is all the joy of life,
    And we in the mad spring weather,
    We two have listened till he sang
    Our hearts and lips together.
  • When the swallows homeward fly,
    When the roses scattered lie,
    When from neither hill or dale,
    Chants the silvery nightingale:
    In these words my bleeding heart
    Would to thee its grief impart;
    When I thus thy image lose
    Can I, ah! can I, e'er know repose?
  • I was always a lover of soft-winged things.
  • Rara avis in terris, nigroque simillima cygno.
    • A rare bird upon the earth, and exceedingly like a black swan.
    • Juvenal, Satires, VI. 165.
  • Do you ne'er think what wondrous beings these?
    Do you ne'er think who made them, and who taught
    The dialect they speak, where melodies
    Alone are the interpreters of thought?
    Whose household words are songs in many keys,
    Sweeter than instrument of man e'er caught!
  • That which prevents disagreeable flies from feeding on your repast, was once the proud tail of a splendid bird.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIV, Epistle 67.
  • Birdes of a feather will flocke togither.
  • Every bird that upwards swings
    Bears the Cross upon its wings.
  • He is a fool who lets slip a bird in the hand for a bird in the bush.
  • Hear how the birds, on ev'ry blooming spray,
    With joyous musick wake the dawning day!
  • A little bird told me.
    • William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part II. Last lines. See also Mahomet's pigeon, the "pious lie", Life of Mahomet in Library of Useful Knowledge, note p. 19. Aristophanes, Aves. See Robinson's Antiquities, Greek, Book III, Chapter XV. ad init. Ecclesiastes. X. 20.
  • That byrd ys nat honest
    That fylythe hys owne nest.
  • The bird
    That glads the night had cheer'd the listening groves with sweet complainings.

Sea birds, generally[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 694.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Up and down! Up and down!
    From the base of the wave to the billow's crown;
    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 on their stormy wing!
  • Yr wylan deg ar lanw dioer
    Unlliw ag eiry neu wenlloer,
    Dilwch yw dy degwch di,
    Darn fel haul, dyrnfol, heli.
    • O sea-bird, beautiful upon the tides,
      White as the moon is when the night abides,
      Or snow untouched, whose dustless splendour glows
      Bright as a sunbeam and whose white wing throws
      A glove of challenge on the salt sea-flood.
    • Dafydd ap Gwilym, "Yr Wylan" (To the Sea-gull), line 1; translation from Robert Gurney (ed. and trans.) Bardic Heritage (London: Chatto & Windus, 1969) p. 130.
  • Between two seas the sea-bird's wing makes halt,
    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.

Specific types[edit]

Albatross[edit]

  • And a good south wind sprung up behind,
    The Albatross did follow,
    And every day, for food or play,
    Came to the mariner's hollo!
    "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
    From the fiends that plague thee thus!—
    Why look'st thou so?"—"With my cross-bow
    I shot the Albatross."
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798; 1817), Part I, Stanza 18, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 19.
  • Great albatross!—the meanest birds
    Spring up and flit away,
    While thou must toil to gain a flight,
    And spread those pinions grey;
    But when they once are fairly poised,
    Far o'er each chirping thing
    Thou sailest wide to other lands,
    E'en sleeping on the wing.
    • Charles G. Leland, Perseverando, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 19.

Bird of Paradise[edit]

  • 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 flood;
    And those that under Araby's soft sun
    Build their high nests of budding cinnamon.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh, The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 70.

Blackbird[edit]

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly… ~ Paul McCartney
Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird. ~ Wallace Stevens
  • A slender young Blackbird built in a thorn-tree:
    A spruce little fellow as ever could be;
    His bill was so yellow, his feathers so black,
    So long was his tail, and so glossy his back,
    That good Mrs. B., who sat hatching her eggs,
    And only just left them to stretch her poor legs,
    And pick for a minute the worm she preferred,
    Thought there never was seen such a beautiful bird.
    • Dinah Craik, The Blackbird and the Rooks; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 71.
  • The birds have ceased their songs,
    All save the blackbird, that from yon tall ash,
    'Mid Pinkie's greenery, from his mellow throat,
    In adoration of the setting sun,
    Chants forth his evening hymn.
    • David Macbeth Moir, An Evening Sketch; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 71.
  • Golden Bill! Golden Bill!
    Lo, the peep of day;
    All the air is cool and still.
    From the elm-tree on the hill,
    Chant away:
    * * * * *
    Let thy loud and welcome lay
    Pour alway
    Few notes but strong.
    • James Montgomery, The Blackbird; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 71.
  • A man and a woman
    Are one.
    A man and a woman and a blackbird
    Are one.
    • Wallace Stevens, in "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" in Harmonium (1923).
  • O Blackbird! sing me something well:
    While all the neighbors shoot thee round,
    I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground,
    Where thou may'st warble, eat and dwell.
    • Alfred Tennyson, The Blackbird; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 71

Bluebird[edit]

prot told me to find the Bluebird of Happiness… Its a task. The first of three. ~ K-PAX
I know that you are looking for the Blue Bird, that is to say, the great secret of things and of happiness, so that Man may make our servitude still harder. ~ Maurice Maeterlinck
  • "So the Bluebirds have contracted, have they, for a house?
    And a next is under way for little Mr. Wren?"
    "Hush, dear, hush! Be quiet, dear! quiet as a mouse.
    These are weighty secrets, and we must whisper them."
    • Susan Coolidge, Secrets, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 73.
  • In the thickets and the meadows
    Piped the bluebird, the Owaissa.
    On the summit of the lodges
    Sang the robin, the Opechee.
  • Whither away, Bluebird,
    Whither away?
    The blast is chill, yet in the upper sky
    Thou still canst find the color of thy wing,
    The hue of ]]May]].
    Warbler, why speed thy southern flight? ah, why,
    Thou too, whose song first told us of the Spring?
    Whither away?
    • Edmund Clarence Stedman, The Flight of the Birds, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 73

Canary[edit]

  • Thou should'st be carolling thy Maker's praise,
    Poor bird! now fetter'd, and here set to draw,
    With graceless toil of beak and added claw,
    The meagre food that scarce thy want allays!
    And this—to gratify the gloating gaze
    Of fools, who value Nature not a straw,
    But know to prize the infraction of her law
    And hard perversion of her creatures' ways!
    Thee the wild woods await, in leaves attired,
    Where notes of liquid utterance should engage
    Thy bill, that now with pain scant forage earns.
    • Julian Fane, Poems, Second Edition, with Additional Poems, To a Canary Bird; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
  • Sing away, ay, sing away,
    Merry little bird
    Always gayest of the gay,
    Though a woodland roundelay
    You ne'er sung nor heard;
    Though your life from youth to age
    Passes in a narrow cage.
    • Dinah Craik, The Canary in his Cage; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
  • Bird of the amber beak,
    Bird of the golden wing!
    Thy dower is thy carolling;
    Thou hast not far to seek
    Thy bread, nor needest wine
    To make thy utterance divine;
    Thou art canopied and clothed
    And unto Song betrothed.
    • Edmund Clarence Stedman, The Songster, Stanza 2; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.

Crow[edit]

  • Even the blackest of them all, the crow,
    Renders good service as your man-at-arms,
    Crushing the beetle in his coat of mail.
    And crying havoc on the slug and snail.
  • To shoot at crows is powder flung away.
    • John Gay, Epistle IV, Last line; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 152.
  • Only last night he felt deadly sick, and, after a great deal of pain, two black crows flew out of his mouth and took wing from the room.
    • Gesta Romanorum, Tale XLV; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 152.

Jackdaw[edit]

  • The Jackdaw sat in the Cardinal's chair!
    Bishop and Abbot and Prior were there,
    Many a monk and many a friar,
    Many a knight and many a squire,
    With a great many more of lesser degree,—
    In sooth a goodly company;
    And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee.
    Never, I ween,
    Was a prouder seen,
    Read of in books or dreamt of in dreams,
    Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims.
    • R. H. Barham, Ingoldsby Legends, The Jackdaw of Rheims; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 402.
  • An old miser kept a tame jackdaw, that used to steal pieces of money, and hide them in a hole, which a cat observing, asked, "Why he would hoard up those round shining things that he could make no use of?" "Why," said the jackdaw, "my master has a whole chestfull, and makes no more use of them than I do."
    • Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 402.

Jay[edit]

Lapwing[edit]

  • Changed to a lapwing by th' avenging god,
    He made the barren waste his lone abode,
    And oft on soaring pinions hover'd o'er
    The lofty palace then his own no more.
    • James Beattie, Vergil, Pastoral 6; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
  • The false lapwynge, full of trecherye.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Parlement of Fowles, line 47; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
  • Amid thy desert-walks the lapwing flies,
    And tires their echoes with unvaried cries.
    • Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 44; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 427.
  • For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
    Close by the ground, to near our conference.

Mockingbird[edit]

I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. ~ Harper Lee
  • "I'd rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you'll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
    “Your father's right," she said. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."
  • Then from the neighboring thicket the mocking-bird, wildest of singers,
    Swinging aloft on a willow spray that hung o'er the water,
    Shook from his little throat such floods of delirious music,
    That the whole air and the woods and the waves seemed silent to listen.
    • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie (1847), Part II, Stanza 2, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 520.
  • Winged mimic of the woods! thou motley fool!
    Who shall thy gay buffoonery describe?
    Thine ever-ready notes of ridicule
    Pursue thy fellows still with jest and jibe:
    Wit, sophist, songster, Yorick of thy tribe;
    Thou sportive satirist of Nature's school;
    To thee the palm of scoffing we ascribe,
    Arch-mocker and mad abbot of misrule!
    • Robert Wilde, D.D., Sonnet, To the Mocking-Bird, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 520.

Linnet[edit]

  • Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?
    Loves of his own, and raptures swell the note.
  • Perch'd on the cedar's topmost bough,
    And gay with gilded wings,
    Perchance the patron of his vow,
    Some artless linnet sings.
    • William Shenstone, Valentine's Day; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 460.
  • Linnets * * * sit
    On the dead tree, a dull despondent flock.
  • Hail to thee, far above the rest
    In joy of voice and pinion!
    Thou, linnet! in thy green array,
    Presiding spirit here to-day,
    Dost lead the revels of the May;
    And this is thy dominion.
    • William Wordsworth, The Green Linnet; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 460.

Nightingale[edit]

  • Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
    To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
    While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
    In such an ecstasy!
    Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain—
    To thy high requiem become a sod.

    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:

Partridge[edit]

  • Ah, nut-brown partridges! Ah, brilliant pheasants!
    And ah, ye poachers!—'Tis no sport for peasants.
    • Lord Byron, Don Juan (1818-24), Canto XIII, Stanza 75, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 580.
  • 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.
    • Matthew Prior, The Dove, Stanza 14, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 580.
  • Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest,
    But may imagine how the bird was dead,
    Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
  • Like as a feareful partridge, that is fledd
    From the sharpe hauke which her attacked neare,
    And falls to ground to seeke for succor theare,
    Whereas the hungry spaniells she does spye,
    With greedy jawes her ready for to teare.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto VIII, Stanza 33.

Pheasant[edit]

  • Fesaunt excedeth all fowles in sweetnesse and holsomnesse, and is equall to capon in nourishynge.
    • Sir T. Elyot, The Castle of Helth, Chapter VIII; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 594.
  • 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 the Elder, Natural History, Book X, Chapter XLVIII, Holland's translation; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 594.
  • See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
    And mounts exulting on triumphant wings:
    Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
    Flutters in blood, and panting beats the ground.
    • Alexander Pope, Windsor Forest (1713), line 111; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 594.

Quail[edit]

  • In jalousie I rede eek thou hym bynde
    And thou shalt make him couche as doeth a quaille.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, The Clerke's Tale, line 13,541, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 652.
  • 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.

Rook[edit]

  • Those Rooks, dear, from morning till night,
    They seem to do nothing but quarrel and fight,
    And wrangle and jangle, and plunder.
    • Dinah Craik, Thirty Years, The Blackbird and the Rooks; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.
  • Invite the rook who high amid the boughs,
    In early spring, his airy city builds,
    And ceaseless caws amusive.
  • 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.
    • Thomas Warton, Ode X; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 677.

Sandpiper[edit]

  • 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.
    • Celia Thaxter, The Sand-Piper, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 690.

Sparrow[edit]

  • 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!
    • William Cartwright, Lesbia and the Sparrow; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 740.
  • The sparrows chirped as if they still were proud
    Their race in Holy Writ should mentioned be.
  • The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
    That it had it head bit off by it young.
  • Behold, within the leafy shade,
    Those bright blue eggs together laid!
    On me the chance-discovered sight
    Gleamed like a vision of delight.
    • William Wordsworth, The Sparrow's Nest; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 740.

Thrush[edit]

  • An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
    Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.

    So little cause for carolings
    Of such ecstatic sound
    Was written on terrestrial things
    Afar or nigh around,
    That I could think there trembled through
    His happy good-night air
    Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.

Western Gull[edit]

  • Much that is good and all that is evil has gathered itself up into the Western Gull. He is rather the handsomest of the blue-mantled Laridae, for the depth of color in the mantle, in sharp contrast with the snowy plumage of back and breast, gives him an appearance of sturdiness and quality which is not easily dispelled by subsequent knowledge of the black heart within. As a scavanger, the Western Gull is impeccable. Wielding the besom of hunger, he and his kind sweep the beaches clean and purge the water-front of all pollution. But a scavanger is not necessarily a good citizen. Call him a ghoul, rather, for the Western Gull is cruel of beak and bottomless of maw. Pity, with him, is a thing unknown; and when one of their own comrades dies, these feathered jackals fall upon him without compunction, a veritable Leichnamveranderungsgebrauchsgesellschaft. If he thus mistreats his own kind, be assured that this gull asks only two questions of any other living thing: First, "Am I hungry?" (Ans., "Yes.") Second, "Can I get away with it?" (Ans., "I'll try.")

Whip-poor-will[edit]

  • 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 screech-owl.
    • Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 868.
  • 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.
    • Marie Le Baron, The Whip-Poor-Will; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 868.

Wren[edit]

  • And then the wren gan scippen and to daunce.
    • Geoffrey Chaucer, Court of Love, line 1,372; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
  • 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.
    • Dinah Craik, The Wren's Nest; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
  • For the poor wren.
    The most diminutive of birds, will fight,
    Her young ones in her nest, against the owl.
    • William Shakespeare, Macbeth (1605), Act IV, scene 2, line 9; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
  • Thus the fable tells us, that the wren mounted as high as the eagle, by getting upon his back.
    • Tatler, No. 224; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 921.
  • 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.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

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