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Frank J. Wilstach, comp. A Dictionary of Similes. 1916.


Gay as a blackbird.

Gay as a bullfinch.

Gay as a negro funeral.

Gay as the tropic bird’s sheen is youth’s fresh frolic freeness.
—A. H. Beesly

Gay and gladsome as the air.
—Mary E. Blake

Gay as Colinette.
—Robert Bridges (American)

Gay as a woman’s wish.
—Henry Brooke

Gay … like a Swiss guard off duty.
—Robert Browning

Gay as a guinea.
—Robert Buchanan

Gay as the gilded summer sky.
—Robert Burns

Gaie as all nature at the mornyng’s smile.
—Thomas Chatterton

Gay as gold.
—Chester Plays

Gay as the dahlia’s bloom.
—Eliza Cook

As the fairest and sweetest, that blow
On the beautiful bosom of May.
—William Cowper

Gay as a butterfly.
—Charles Dickens

Gay as a thrush.
—Austin Dobson

Gay as a chaffinch.
—Alexandre Dumas, père

Gay as larks.
—Jean de La Fontaine

Gay as Apollo’s locks.
—John Ford

Gay as the joy of a maiden’s look.
—Sam Walter Foss

Like to a light and brilliant butterfly,
Around a dusky flower.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Gay as a mote.
—William Hazlitt

Gay as the thistledown over the lea.
—Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Gay and fleeting
As bubbles that swim on the beaker’s brim, and break on the lips while meeting.
—Charles Fenno Hoffman

Gay as bridal bowers with vows of many-petalled maids.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes

Gay as the morning.
—William Livingston

Gay as the hawthorn in May.
—Evan MacColl

Gay as a rising sun.

Gay as lover to the altar.
—Gerald Massey

Colors as gay as those on angels’ wings.
—Thomas Moore

Gay as the starling shoots thro’ the skies.
—F. W. H. Myers

Gay as if his life were young.
—Thomas Otway

Gay as mischief.

Gay as the primrose-dell in May.
—Ambrose Philips

As the feathered warblers gay.
—William Shenstone

Gay as April ere he dreams of May.
—Algernon Charles Swinburne

Your voice was gay
As the voice of a bird in the dawn of a day
On a sunshiny tree.
—Arthur Symons

Gay as the garments of gem-sprinkled gold.
—Bayard Taylor

Too gay … like a pink ribbon on the bonnet of a Puritan woman.
—Henry D. Thoreau

As gay as a bridegroom.
—Sir John Vanbrugh

Gay as the dancing wind.
—Sarah. C. Woolsey

Gaily, as one who hath no care or pain.
—William Watson

Gay as the spring.
—Thomas Yalden