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


  • The swan, like the soul of the poet,
  • By the dull world is ill understood.
  • Heine.

    The swan murmurs sweet strains with a faltering tongue, itself the singer of its own dirge.


  • The swan, with arched neck
  • Between her white wings mantling proudly, rows
  • Her state with oary feet.
  • Milton.

  • The swan in the pool is singing,
  • And up and down doth he steer,
  • And, singing gently ever,
  • Dips under the water clear.
  • Heine.

  • As I have seen a swan
  • With bootless labour swim against the tide
  • And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
  • Shakespeare.

  • 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.

  • 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.