How strange the stars have grown; The presage of extinction glows on their crests And they are beautied with impermanence.1916 'The Height of Land'.
Cold on Canadian hills or Minden’s plain,Perhaps that parent mourned her soldier slain;Bent o'er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew,The big drops mingling with the milk he drewGave the sad presage of his future years,—The child of misery, baptized in tears.The Country Justice, Part i, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). This allusion to the dead soldier and his widow on the field of battle was made the subject of a print by Bunbury, under which were engraved the pathos-laden lines of Langhorne. Sir Walter Scott mentioned that the only time he saw Burns this picture was in the room. Burns shed tears over it; and Scott, then a lad of fifteen, was the only person present who could tell him where the lines were to be found. In Lockhart, Life of Scott, vol. i. chap. iv.
The air crackled with the presage of lightning, and a heavy mist descended around them.stephen r. lawhead: p. 163 (The Bone House (2011))
If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, My dreams presage some joyful news at hand: My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne; And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597), Act V, scene 1, line 1.
Oft morning dreams presage approaching fate, For morning dreams, as poets tell, are true.Michael Bruce, Elegy on Spring.
The advancement of the arts, from year to year, taxes our credulity and seems to presage the arrival of that period when human improvement must end.Henry L. Ellsworth, commissioner of the Patent Office, 1843 report to Congress (note that the context is the increasing workload at the patent office) cited in Samuel Sass (1989) "A Patently False Patent Myth," in: Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 13, Spring 1989, pg. 310-313
Ye country comets, that portend No war nor princes' funeral Shining unto no other end Than to presage the grass's fall.Andrew Marvell, The Mower to the Glow-worm.