He had no nose, properly speaking, but a large beak of preposterous widthlessness, which gave his whole face the expression of falling gravely downstairs, and quite obliterated the unimportant chin.
The sad presaging raven, that tolls The sick man's passport in her hollow beak, And in the shadow of the silent night Doth shake contagion from her sable wings.Christopher Marlowe
'Takethy beak fromout my heart, and takethy formfrom off my door!' Quoth the raven,'Nevermore.'1845 'The Raven', stanza17. In American Review, Feb1845.
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."edgar allan poe
Good-morrow to thy sable beak, And glossy plumage, dark and sleek, Thy crimson moon and azure eye,<br<Cock of the heath, so wildly shy!joanna baillie
The wild hawk stood with the down on his beak And stared with his foot on the prey.Alfred Tennyson, The Poet's Song.
A wonderful bird is the pelican, His bill will hold more than his belican, He can take in his beak Enough food for a week But I'm damned if I see how the helican!Dixon Lanier Merritt (1910), authorship noted in L. J. Davenport, John C. Hallm Nature Journal (2010), p. 137; variation reported in print as a miscellany in The Paper and Pulp Makers' Journal: Volume 12 (1912), p. 34. Often quoted as "A funny old bird" and with variations in the last line such as "I don't understand how the helican!"
Thou should'st be carolling thy Maker's praise, Poor bird! now fetter'd, and here set to draw, With graceless toil of beak and added claw, The meagre food that scarce thy want allays! And this to gratify the gloating gaze Of fools, who value Nature not a straw, But know to prize the infraction of her law And hard perversion of her creatures' ways! Thee the wild woods await, in leaves attired, Where notes of liquid utterance should engage Thy bill, that now with pain scant forage earns.Julian Fane, Poems, Second Edition, with Additional Poems, To a Canary Bird; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 89.
Bird of the amber beak, Bird of the golden wing! Thy dower is thy carolling; Thou hast not far to seek Thy bread, nor needest wine To make thy utterance divine; Thou art canopied and clothed And unto Song betrothed.edmund clarence stedman
While it is not always profitable to analogize "fact" to "fiction," La Fontaine's fable of the crow, the cheese, and the fox demonstrates that there is a substantial difference between holding a piece of cheese in the beak and putting it in the stomach.felix frankfurter
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