Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
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.
        William Collins—Odes. Dirge in Cymbeline.
Bearing His cross, while Christ passed forth forlorn,
His God-like forehead by the mock crown torn,
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 said.
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.
        Hoskyns-Abrahall—The Redbreast. A Bréton Legend. In English Lyrics.
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 of all mankind;
  And humbled to the very dust
By the vile cross, while viler men
  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!
        Delle W. Norton—To the Robin Redbreast.
  You have learned, like Sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms, like a malcontent; to relish a love-song, like a robin redbreast.
        Two Gentlemen of Verona. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 16.
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.
        Thomson—The Seasons. Winter. L. 246.
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.
        John Webster—The White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona. A Dirge.
Now when the primrose makes a splendid show,
And lilies face the March-winds in full blow,
And humbler growths as moved with one desire
Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire,
Poor Robin is yet flowerless; but how gay
With his red stalks upon this sunny day!
        WordsworthPoor Robin.
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?
        WordsworthThe Redbreast Chasing the Butterfly.
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.
        WordsworthTo a Redbreast. In Sickness.

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