C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


A bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.

Ecclesiastes x. 20.

The little birds have God for their caterer.


Was never secret history but birds tell it in the bowers.


I was always a lover of soft-winged things.

Victor Hugo.

  • Hear how the birds, on ev’ry blooming spray,
  • With joyous musick wake the dawning day!
  • Pope.

    And hark, how blithe the throstle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher.


  • Teach me, O lark! with thee to greatly rise,
  • To exalt my soul and lift it to the skies.
  • Burke.

    Fowls, by winter forced, forsake the floods, and wing their hasty flight to happier lands.


  • With sonorous notes
  • Of every tone, mix’d in confusion sweet,
  • Our forest rings.
  • Carlos Wilcox.

  • A light broke in upon my soul—
  • It was the carol of a bird;
  • It ceased—and then it came again
  • The sweetest song ear ever heard.
  • Byron.

    The birds, great Nature’s happy commoners, that haunt in woods, in meads, and flowery gardens, rifle the sweets and taste the choicest fruits.


  • See the enfranchised bird, who wildly springs,
  • With a keen sparkle in his glowing eye
  • And a strong effort in his quivering wings,
  • Up to the blue vault of the happy sky.
  • Mrs. Norton.

  • 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.

    The nightingale, if he should sing by day, when every goose is cackling, would be thought no better a musician than the wren. How many things by season seasoned are to their right praise and true perfection!


  • Birds, the free tenants of earth, air, and ocean,
  • Their forms all symmetry, their motions grace,
  • In plumage delicate and beautiful,
  • Thick without burthen, close as fish’s scales,
  • Or loose as full blown poppies on the gale;
  • With wings that seem as they’d a soul within them,
  • They bear their owners with such sweet enchantment.
  • James Montgomery.