Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


The dying swan is said to utter a pleasing song, and the poets have for ages attested its truth. We will give a few specimens.
Foreseeing how happy it is to die, they leave this world with singing and joy.
Yonge’s Cicero.—Tusculan Disputations, Book I. Div. 30.

Lamenting, in a low voice, her very woes, as when the swan, now about to die, sings his own funeral dirge.
Riley’s Ovid, Metamorphoses, Picus and Canens, Page 499.

Thus does the white swan, as he lies on the wet grass, when the Fates summon him, sing at the fords of Mæander.
Riley’s Ovid.—Epistle 7, Page 63.

[And see Spenser, in the “Ruins of Time;” Shakespeare, in the Merchant of Venice, Act III. Scene 2—King John, Act V. Scene 7—Othello, Act V. Scene 2; Cowley, in his Pyramus and Thisbe; Garth, in the Dispensary; Pope, in Windsor Forest—Rape of the Lock—Winter a Pastoral; Prior’s Turtle and Sparrow; Fenton’s Florelio; Lansdowne, in the Muses’ Dying Song; and Shelley, in “the Alastor.”]

And sung his dying sonnets to the fiddle.
Peter Pindar.—The Lousiad, Canto 1.