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.
Every man thinks his own geese swans.
The night folds her trembling hands over a weary world. Out of a pale blue rises the shining moon. My thoughts are flying to the stars like lonely swans.joseph goebbels
The surrealist thinks he has outstripped the whole of literary history when he has written (here a word that there is no need to write) where others have written "jasmines, swans and fauns." But what he has really done has been simply to bring to light another form of rhetoric which hitherto lay hidden in the latrines.josé ortega y gasset
...no matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white.karl popper
I dare not hope to please a Cinna's ear. Or sing what Varus might vouchsafe to hear; Harsh are the sweetest lays that I can bring, So screams a goose where swans melodious sing.james beattie
Mankind naturally and generally love to be flatter'd: Whatever sooths our Pride, and tends to exalt our Species above the rest of the Creation, we are pleas'd with and easily believe, when ungrateful Truths shall be with the utmost Indignation rejected. "What! bring ourselves down to an Equality with the Beasts of the Field! with the meanest part of the Creation! 'Tis insufferable!" But, (to use a Piece of common Sense) our Geese are but Geese tho' we may think 'em swans; and Truth will be Truth tho' it sometimes prove mortifying and distasteful.
It is not that the French are not profound, but they all express themselves so well that we are led to take their geese for swans.
The earth with yellow pears
And overgrown with roses wild
Upon the pond is bent,
And swans divine,
With kisses drunk
You drop your heads
In the sublimely sobering water.
But where, with winter come, am I
To find, alas, the floweres, and where
And the shadow of the world?
Cold the walls stand
And the wordless, in the wind
The weathercocks are rattling.
Let the long contention cease! Geese are swans, and swans are geese.Matthew Arnold