Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
All our geese are swans.
        Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. I. Sec. 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.
        Byron—Don Juan. Canto III. St. 86. 16.
The jelous swan, agens hire deth that syngith.
        Chaucer—Parlement of Fowles. L. 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.
        G. W. Doane.
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.
        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.
        Heine—Early Poems. Evening Songs. No. 2.
The swan, like the soul of the poet,
By the dull world is ill understood.
        Heine—Early Poems. Evening Songs. No. 3.
There’s a double beauty whenever a swan
Swims on a lake with her double thereon.
        Hood—Her Honeymoon.
  The swan murmurs sweet strains with a faltering tongue, itself the singer of its own dirge.
        Martial—Epigrams. Bk. XIII. Ep. LXXVII.
            The swan, with arched neck
Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
Her state with oary feet.
        MiltonParadise Lost. 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 Mæander.
        Ovid—Ep. VII. Riley’s trans.
          The swan’s down-feather,
That stands upon the swell at full of tide,
And neither way inclines.
        Antony and Cleopatra. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 48.
            As I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
        Henry VI. Pt. III. Act I. Sc. 4. L. 19.
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.
        King John. Act V. Sc. 7. L. 21.
(Let music sound while he doth make his choice)
Then if he lose he makes a swan-like end.
        Merchant of Venice. Act III. Sc. 2.
        I will play the swan
And die in music.
        Othello. Act V. Sc. 2.
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.
        Titus Andronicus. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 101.
  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.
        Socrates. See Plato—Phaedo. 77.
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.
        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.
        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.
        Thomson—The Seasons. Spring. L. 775.
The swan on still St. Mary’s lake
Float double, swan and shadow!
        WordsworthYarrow Unvisited.

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