Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Birds (Unclassified)
Birds of a feather will gather together.
        Burton—Anatomy of Melancholy. Pt. III. Sec. I. Memb. 1. Subsect. 2.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
        Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. I. Ch. IV.
  You must not think, sir, to catch old birds with chaff.
        Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. I. Ch. IV.
  Never look for birds of this year in the nests of the last.
        Cervantes—Don Quixote. Pt. II. Ch. LXXIV.
Dame Nature’s minstrels.
        Gavin Douglas—Morning in May.
  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.
        Gray—Sonnet on the Death of Richard West.
  A feather in hand is better than a bird in the air.
        Herbert—Jacula Prudentum.
Better one byrde in hand than ten in the wood.
        Heywood—Proverbs. Pt. I. Ch. XI.
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.
        W. E. Henley—Echoes.
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?
        Karl Herrlossohn—When the Swallows Homeward Fly.
I was always a lover of soft-winged things.
        Victor Hugo—I Was Always a Lover.
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!
        Longfellow—Tales of a Wayside Inn. The Poet’s Tale. The Birds of Killingworth.
  That which prevents disagreeable flies from feeding on your repast, was once the proud tail of a splendid bird.
        Martial—Epigrams. Bk. XIV. Ep. 67.
Birdes of a feather will flocke togither.
        Minsheu. (1599).
Every bird that upwards swings
Bears the Cross upon its wings.
        Ascribed to John Mason Neale.
  He is a fool who lets slip a bird in the hand for a bird in the bush.
        Plutarch—Of Garrulity.
Hear how the birds, on ev’ry blooming spray,
With joyous musick wake the dawning day!
        Pope—Pastorals. Spring. L. 23.
A little bird told me.
        King Henry IV. Pt. 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, Bk. III. Ch. XV. ad init. Ecclesiastes. X. 20.
That byrd ys nat honest
That fylythe hys owne nest.
        Skelton—Poems against Garnesche. III.
          The bird
That glads the night had cheer’d the listening groves with sweet complainings.
        Somerville—The Chace.

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