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[ Also see Art Ballads Music Poetry Poets Singing Voice ]

She makes her hand hard with labour, and her heart soft with pity: and when winter evenings fall early (sitting at her merry wheel), she sings a defiance to the giddy wheel of fortune . . . and fears no manner of ill because she means none.
      - Sir Thomas Overbury,
        A Fair and Happy Milkmaid

I think, whatever mortals crave,
  With impotent endeavor,
    A wreath--a rank--a throne--a grave--
      The world goes round forever;
        I think that life is not too long,
          And therefore I determine,
            That many people read a song,
              Who will not read a sermon.
      - Winthrop Mackworth Praed,
        Chant of the Brazen Head

Odds life! must one swear to the truth of a song?
      - Matthew Prior, A Better Answer

Men, even when alone, lighten their labors by song, however rude it may be.
  [Lat., Etiam singulorum fatigatio quamlibet se rudi modulatione solatur.]
      - Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus),
        De Institutione Oratoria (I, 81)

All great song, from the first day when human lips contrived syllables, has been sincere song.
      - John Ruskin

Builders, raise the ceiling high,
  Raise the dome into the sky,
    Hear the wedding song!
      For the happy groom is near,
        Tall as Mars, and statelier,
          Hear the wedding song!
      - Sappho, Fragments,
        (J.S. Easby Smith's translation)

Song forbids victorious deeds to die.
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        The Artists

The lively Shadow-World of Song.
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        The Artists

Oh, she will sing the savageness out of a bear.
      - William Shakespeare

Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
  That old and antique song we heard last night.
    Methought it did relieve my passion much,
      More than light airs and recollected terms
        Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times.
          Come, but one verse.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Orsino, Duke of Illyria at II, iv)

Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Songs consecrate to truth and liberty.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, To Wordsworth
         (l. 12)

There is a certain flimsiness of poetry which seems expedient in a song.
      - William Shenstone

I never heard the old song of Percy and Douglass, that I found not my heart moved more than with a trumpet.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Knitting and withal singing, and it seemed that her voice comforted her hands to work.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney), Arcadia
         (bk. I)

Do be do be do.
      - Frank Sinatra

It was his nature to blossom into song, as it is a tree's to leaf itself in April.
      - Alexander Smith

Faith and joy are the ascensive forces of song.
      - Edmund Clarence Stedman

Every pert young fellow that has a moving fancy, and the least jingle of verse in his head, sets up for a writer of songs, and resolves to immortalize his bottle or his mistress.
      - Sir Richard Steele

They sang of love and not of fame;
  Forgot was Britain's glory;
    Each heart recalled a different name,
      But all sang "Annie Laurie."
      - Bayard Taylor, A Song of the Camp

Because the gift of Song was chiefly lent,
  To give consoling music for the joys
    We lack, and not for those which we possess.
      - Bayard Taylor,
        The Poet's Journal--Third Evening

Short swallow-flights of song, that dip
  Their wings in tears, and skim away.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam
         (pt. XLVIII, st. 4)

You sing the same old song.
  [Lat., Cantilenam eandem canis.]
      - Terence (Publius Terentius Afer), Phormio
         (III, 2, 10)

Cicala to cicala is dear, and ant to ant, and hawks to hawks, but to me the muse and song.
      - Theocritus, Idyl (IX),
        (translation by Andrew Lang), st. 2

Grasshopper to grasshopper, ant to ant is dear,
  Hawks love hawks, but I the muse and song.
      - Theocritus, Idyl (IX),
        (translation by Maurice Thompson)

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