Wren Quotes (3 quotes)
All things help, quoth the Wren, when he pissd in the Sea.
No. 563 in Gnomologia: Adagies and Proverbs, Wise Sentences and Witty Sayings (1732), 21. [Note: this earthy wisdom is misinformed; in general, birds do not have a urinary bladder and excrete kidney waste as uric acid along with faeces as a semisolid waste. Webmaster]
As the proverb says, You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren.
In Afoot in England (1909, 1922), 80. He might have originated this specific wording, but as this full sentence shows, Hudson was quoting a proverb. Many sources simply attribute the quote to him. Yet, in fact, the expression goes back to at least 1607, for it appears in Thomas Walkington, 'To the Reader', The Optick Glasse of Humors as I have soared also above my pitch, attempting an Eagles flight with the wing of a Wrenne.
I have soared also above my pitch, attempting an Eagles flight with the wings of a Wrenne.
In 'To the Reader', The Optick Glass of Humors (1607), 10-11. This is quoted by William Henry Hudson: As the proverb says, You cannot fly like an Eagle with the wings of a wren. in Afoot in England (1909, 1922), 80.