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On the wing   /ɑn ðə wɪŋ/   Listen
On the wing

adverb
1.
Flying through the air.  Synonym: in flight.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"On the wing" Quotes from Famous Books



... against the roof with a dull sound, fluttered past my ears, sending a cold shiver through me, and settled on my white powder-horn on the wall. I watched them; they sat trembling and looked at me—moths and spinners and burrowing things. Some of them looked like pansies on the wing. ...
— Pan • Knut Hamsun

... found them once more on the wing. Stern laid a southerly course along the edge of the Abyss. He and Beatrice had definitely decided that the new home of humanity was not to be the distant regions of the East, involving so long and perilous ...
— Darkness and Dawn • George Allan England

... Cape-of-Good-Hope hen: They are of a dark-brown or blackish colour, and are therefore sometimes called the black gull: We saw also a great many pintado birds, of nearly the same size, which are prettily spotted with black and white, and constantly on the wing, though they frequently appear as if they were walking upon the water, like the peterels, to which sailors have given the name of Mother Carey's chickens; and we saw ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... collects its food by means of its mouth, either when on the wing, or when suspended within reach of it, the flying-fox is always more or less liable to have the spoil wrested from it by its intrusive companions, before it can make good its way to some secure retreat in which to devour it unmolested. In such conflicts they bite viciously, ...
— Sketches of the Natural History of Ceylon • J. Emerson Tennent

... constantly on the wing. Though little interested in politics, he liked to be on the edge of any political commotion. He appeared in London on the death of Queen Caroline, in 1737; and Bathurst remarked that "he was as sure to be there in a bustle as a porpoise in a storm." "Our friend Pope," said Jervas ...
— Alexander Pope - English Men of Letters Series • Leslie Stephen

... that he must have been in reverie for ages, so much had he thought sitting there, so much felt.... He had been like a gull poised on the wing, and now he dropped gently to the calm waters.... New York to-day, and in two weeks Antrim, and then a rest.... And then wider spaces than he had ever known, greater adventure.... A day would come when he would be called, as though some one ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... the toiling hand of Care; The panting herds repose: Yet hark! how through the peopled air The busy murmur glows! The insect youth are on the wing, Eager to taste the honied spring, And float amid the liquid noon; Some lightly o'er the current skim, Some show their gaily gilded trim, Quick glancing to ...
— Poetical Works of Johnson, Parnell, Gray, and Smollett - With Memoirs, Critical Dissertations, and Explanatory Notes • Samuel Johnson, Thomas Parnell, Thomas Gray, and Tobias Smollett

... chuck, chuck, when the old ones flew over them. A sun-bird, with bright scarlet throat and breast, had its nest on another branch, it was formed like the weaver's nest, but without a tube. I observed the dam picking out insects from the bark and leaves of the baobab, keeping on the wing the while: it would thus appear to be insectivorous as well as a honey-bibber. Much spoor of elands, zebras, gnus, kamas, pallahs, buffaloes, reed-bucks, with ...
— The Last Journals of David Livingstone, in Central Africa, from 1865 to His Death, Volume I (of 2), 1866-1868 • David Livingstone

... big adventure's on the wing, doesn't it! Well, I don't mind chasing the old tub, or doing any other damphule thing in reason, but what's the game? Put me next! When was this earthquake that loosened all your little rivets? Speak up, ...
— Wings of the Wind • Credo Harris

... the meadow-lark's clear sound Leaks upward slowly from the ground, While on the wing the bluebirds ring Their wedding-bells ...
— Little Rivers - A Book Of Essays In Profitable Idleness • Henry van Dyke

... are waving and glistening around us. Quails are running along the edge of the road, appearing and disappearing among the thick grain-stalks. The bulbuls warble from the thorn-bushes, and a crested hoopoo croons in a jujube-tree. Larks are on the wing, ...
— Out-of-Doors in the Holy Land - Impressions of Travel in Body and Spirit • Henry Van Dyke

... and emus. Mr Strong, however, objected to the younger members of his family expending the large amount of powder and shot they were apt to fire away. He would allow them, he said, only the use of bows and arrows, promising, however, to give each a rifle when they could bring a parrot down on the wing, an emu running, or a kangaroo bounding over the ground. We therefore employed ourselves during the longer evenings of winter in manufacturing bows and feathering a large supply of arrows, for both of which objects we found ...
— Adventures in Australia • W.H.G. Kingston

... otherwise than regard the ancient sport of falconry as a high tribute to the mental powers of the genus Falco. The hunting falcons were educated into the sport of hawking, just as a boy is trained by his big brother to shoot quail on the wing. The birds were furnished with hoods and jesses, and other garnitures. They were carried on the hand of the huntsman, and launched at unlucky herons and bitterns as an intelligent living force. The ...
— The Minds and Manners of Wild Animals • William T. Hornaday

... sat there, Of the days when with such arrows He had struck the deer and bison, On the Muskoday, the meadow; Shot the wild goose, flying southward On the wing, the clamorous Wawa; Thinking of the great war-parties, How they came to buy his arrows, Could not fight without his arrows. Ah, no more such noble warriors Could be found on earth as they were! Now the men were all like women, Only used ...
— The Song Of Hiawatha • Henry W. Longfellow

... days elapsed before Mr. Ainsley was on the wing, here and there where his interests called him, meantime making the Charleston hotel his headquarters. Miss Ainsley's friend, Mrs. Willoughby, carried off the daughter to her pretty home on the Battery, where sea-breezes tempered the Southern sun. Clancy aided the father satisfactorily ...
— The Earth Trembled • E.P. Roe

... notions of the age —the murder of Comyn in the sanctuary of Dumfries; on the character of Wallace no similar imputation rests. Wallace initiated that plan of guerilla warfare,—that fighting now on foot and now on the wing, now with beak and now with talons, now with horns and now with hoofs,—which Bruce had only to perfect. Wallace was unsuccessful, and was besides treated by the King of England with revolting barbarity; while Bruce became victorious: and, ...
— Specimens with Memoirs of the Less-known British Poets, Complete • George Gilfillan

... excellent runner, and spends more time on foot than on the wing. It is a shy wary bird, yet, notwithstanding, it is most easily domesticated; and it is not uncommon to see them about the houses of the Cape farmers, where they are kept as pets, on account of their usefulness in destroying snakes, lizards, and other vermin. ...
— The Bush Boys - History and Adventures of a Cape Farmer and his Family • Captain Mayne Reid

... Cerceris, Sphex and Pompilus excavate their burrows wherever they please; they carry their prey thither on the wing, or, if too heavy, drag it afoot. The Necrophorus knows no such facilities in his task. Incapable of carrying the monstrous corpse, no matter where encountered, he is forced to dig the ...
— The Wonders of Instinct • J. H. Fabre

... capital; but it arrived at Paris with a keeper, and in a post-chaise; whence, by the orders of the sovereign, it was removed to the American shores, and there magnanimously let loose. Who knows, however, how soon it may be on the wing again, and what a flight ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... booming noise we had often heard sounding through the woods. Two men, each carrying in his hand a long club, shaped large at one end, appeared in the meadow and began looking among the long grasses which sheltered the nests of some meadow larks. A number of the larks were on the wing, others sat on the rail fence rolling out cadenzas in concert in a gush of melody from their downy throats. The men moved cautiously nearer under cover of the weeds. Raising their long clubs to their shoulders they gazed along their narrow points a moment. Without ...
— Dickey Downy - The Autobiography of a Bird • Virginia Sharpe Patterson

... sweeten the soft air. Above us spreads The purple sky, bright with the unseen sun The hills yet screen, although the golden beam Touches the topmost boughs, and tints with light The grey and sparkling crags. The breath of morn Still lingers in the valley; but the bee With restless passion hovers on the wing, Waiting the opening flower, of whose embrace The sun shall be the signal. Poised in air, The winged minstrel of the liquid dawn, The lark, pours forth his lyric, and responds To the fresh chorus of the sylvan doves, The stir of branches ...
— Venetia • Benjamin Disraeli

... It is tem-tem-pitation! etc., etc. No note is there of failure (that's a tune the croakers sing!) This song's of youth, and strength, and health, and time that's on the wing! Of wealth beyond the hazy blue of far horizons flung— But never of the folk returning, disillusioned, stung! It's a tale of gold and ivory, of plunder out of reach, Of luck that fell to other men, of treasure on the beach— A compound, cross-reciprocating ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... sort of question to answer, for he is always on the wing. He went in for mining engineering, and is making quite a record as consulting engineer. It's copper, I think, he consults about; anyway, no one ever can predict where he will be heard from next. Really, ...
— The Brentons • Anna Chapin Ray

... which were passed chiefly in Utah, were full of color and events. Life became very strenuous for the Honorable Herbert Henry Heathcote. He learned how to take his meals on the wing, as it were, to run for trains, to snatch two hours' sleep anywhere between midnight and morning, and to be jostled by rude crowds that failed to recognize his superiority. The full-backed light overcoat, during its brief ...
— The Candidate - A Political Romance • Joseph Alexander Altsheler

... of a sister in a woman's shape. Mine, alas!—O woeful prince, O more woeful princess!—eats the herb of the field somewhere in the shape of a mare, as ugly as she was once beautiful, but swifter than the swallow on the wing." ...
— Hereward, The Last of the English • Charles Kingsley

... and fro— Everywhere that children go When the Spring Is on the wing And the winds of April blow— "I will never think her dead; "She will come again!" it said; And then the birds that use the vale, Broken-hearted, turned the tale Into syllables of song And chirped it half a ...
— Dreams and Dust • Don Marquis

... become skilled in its use. In order to introspect one must catch himself unawares, so to speak, in the very act of thinking, remembering, deciding, loving, hating, and all the rest. These fleeting phases of consciousness are ever on the wing; they never pause in their restless flight and we must catch them as they go. This is not so easy as it appears; for the moment we turn to look in upon the mind, that moment consciousness changes. The thing we meant to examine is gone, and something else has taken its place. All that is left ...
— The Mind and Its Education • George Herbert Betts

... hath hardened the heart of the King, Tarry ye not in Egypt! So the creatures that crawl and the insects that sting Will add terror to life and bring death on the wing. Tarry ye not, Tarry ye not, Tarry ye not in Egypt! The Lord hath hardened the heart of the King, So the creatures that crawl and the insects that sting Will add terror to life and bring death on the wing, So ...
— Soldier Songs and Love Songs • A.H. Laidlaw

... Swiftly, within year and day, this English Nation, with its multiplex talents of ploughing, spinning, hammering, mining, road-making and trafficking, would bring a handsome value out of such a space of country. On the other hand, fancy what an English Nation, once 'on the wing,' could have done with itself, had there been simply no soil, not even an inarable one, to alight on? Vain all its talents for ploughing, hammering, and whatever else; there is no Earth-room for this Nation with its talents: this Nation will have to keep hovering ...
— Past and Present - Thomas Carlyle's Collected Works, Vol. XIII. • Thomas Carlyle

... breathe. In the amphitheatre a fly might be heard on the wing. People could not believe their own eyes. Since Rome was Rome, no one had seen ...
— Quo Vadis - A Narrative of the Time of Nero • Henryk Sienkiewicz

... the Alps and ventured back to their misty island, where they spent an unsatisfactory summer, moving from place to place in a fruitless search for better weather. Several hemorrhages forced them to the conclusion that they must be once more on the wing, and as both felt an unconquerable repugnance to spending another winter at bleak Davos, it was finally decided to go where their hearts led them, and seek a suitable place in the south of France. As Mrs. ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... welcomed civilly by our captain, bagged their papers, made out a list of the passengers, and in a few moments were again on the wing for shore, looking right into the wind, and with smooth water and a light breeze, they drew rapidly away from the heavier ship. I must observe that our Mercury's correctness was by no means commensurate with his activity; for such ingenious changes did this worthy contrive in the names of the ...
— Impressions of America - During the years 1833, 1834 and 1835. In Two Volumes, Volume I. • Tyrone Power

... no-gwe-no-w[)o]k. See how I act, beasts I shoot on the wing. [The signification of this is, that he "shoots at them as they fly," referring to the manid[-o]s as ...
— Seventh Annual Report • Various

... detained, we might make an 'igh tea of it," she suggested, "and venture on the wing of a goose. Stuffing at this hour I would 'ardly 'int at, being onion and apt to recur." But Captain Hocken desired no ...
— Hocken and Hunken • A. T. Quiller-Couch

... elderly clerk should dream of all this during the three last verses of a hymn? Well, the steadiest imagination is apt to disregard sometimes the proprieties of place; and as for space—of course the visions of the night are quicker on the wing than their rivals of the day; yet there must be some analogy, and, they say, we pass through the vicissitudes of half a lifetime in the ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... occur in nature. Can a more striking instance of adaptation be given than that of a woodpecker for climbing trees and for seizing insects in the chinks of the bark? Yet in North America there are woodpeckers which feed largely on fruit, and others with elongated wings which chase insects on the wing; and on the plains of La Plata, where not a tree grows, there is a woodpecker, which in every essential part of its organisation, even in its colouring, in the harsh tone of its voice, and undulatory flight, told me plainly of its close blood-relationship to our common species; ...
— On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection • Charles Darwin

... call me truly, if it must be said, Parnassian butterfly, and like the bees Wherein old Plato found our similes. Light rover I, forever on the wing, Flutter from flower to flower, from thing to thing, With much of pleasure ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume V. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... it answered perfectly. Charteris ran to the half-way line, and handed the ball on to the Babe. The Babe was tackled from behind, and passed to Thomson. Thomson dodged his man, and passed to Welch on the wing. Welch was the fastest sprinter in the School. It was a pleasure—if you did not happen to be one of the opposing side—to see him race down the touch-line. He was off like an arrow. Dacre's back made a futile attempt to get at him. Welch could have given the ...
— Tales of St. Austin's • P. G. Wodehouse

... Lipton climbed up on the wing and motioned to Rick to put on the helmet and plug in his phones. There was a spare helmet-and-phone set in the rear seat for the Air Force officer. Rick switched the radio on and heard the soft hum of dynamotors. He cleared his throat and ...
— The Scarlet Lake Mystery • Harold Leland Goodwin

... a brazen rattle with which he roused the birds from their nests, and then slew them with his poisoned arrows while they were on the wing. ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 2 (of 12) • Various

... how small a thing The highest speed you gain: A bee can frolic on the wing Around the fastest train. Think of the swallow in the air, The salmon in the stream, And cease to boast the records rare Of ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... be supposed, where perennial heat and moisture occur in abundance, spread overhead in such extraordinary luxuriance that few of the sun's rays could penetrate the massy net-work of leaves and branches forming the roof of our fairy passage. Not a single bird could be seen, either seated or on the wing; nor was even a chirp distinguishable above the dreamy hum of millions of mosquitoes floating about, in a calm so profound, that it seemed as if the surface of the water had never been disturbed since the ...
— The Lieutenant and Commander - Being Autobigraphical Sketches of His Own Career, from - Fragments of Voyages and Travels • Basil Hall

... knocked up, and would have their feet blistered, nay lamed, for a long time. Besides, the ground is so thickly covered with sturdy vegetation that the hounds could not derive much help from their noses. Mere shooting on the wing the King had long since quitted, and he had ceased to mount his horse; thus the chase simply resolved itself into ...
— The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, Complete • Duc de Saint-Simon

... free and unshackled in her loose draperies, quite unabashed in her state of semi-nudity—gay, reckless, wooing pleasure on the wing, surely she might have posed as the embodied archetype of France itself. So has this pagan among modern nations borrowed something of the antique spirit of wantonness. Along with its theft of the Attic charm and grace, ...
— In and Out of Three Normady Inns • Anna Bowman Dodd

... iniquity that yields such delicious crumbs of love as Henry and I stole in moments of ecstasy in park and parlor, in pavilion and veranda, on our drives and rides, be blessed a hundred times. Ah, the harvest of little tendernesses, the sweet words I caught on the wing—recompense for the weeks of abstinence ...
— Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess • Henry W. Fischer

... book deals with what might be called our instrument of research; in other words, with the problem of what particular powers of insight the human mind must use, if its vision of reality is to be of any deeper or more permanent value than the "passing on the wing," so to speak, of individual ...
— The Complex Vision • John Cowper Powys

... parlour window, or reading—stealthily; for Mr. Linden with his book sat in the porch not three feet from her; but it is not too much to say that neither made great progress. Who could read or work—or think—vigilantly, in that hazy sunshine?—the very bees took a siesta on the wing, and rocked to and fro ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... a fine shot, Davy," remarked his Uncle Dunston in speaking about the partridge. "As fine a shot on the wing as I ...
— Dave Porter and His Double - The Disapperarance of the Basswood Fortune • Edward Stratemeyer

... of sea and ships. I am not much of a judge of that kind of thing, but a sketch of his comes before me sometimes at night. How strong, supple, and living the ship seems upon the billows! With what a dip and rake she shears the flying sea! I cannot fancy the man who saw this effect, and took it on the wing with so much force and spirit, was what you call commonplace in the last recesses of the heart. And yet he thought, and was not ashamed to have it known of him, that Ouida was better in every way than William Shakespeare. If there were more people of his honesty, this would be about ...
— Virginibus Puerisque • Robert Louis Stevenson

... could be urged, or rather perhaps the style of the address, as it was described to me, was fitted to confound and bewilder the man rather than enlighten him. In the midst of all this Mr. Carleton came in—he was just then on the wing for America, and he had heard of the poor creature's condition in a visit to his father. He came,—my informant said,—like a being of a different planet. He took the man's hand,—he was chained foot and wrist,—'My ...
— Queechy • Susan Warner

... seems at work. Slugs leave their lair— The bees are stirring—birds are on the wing— And Winter slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, 5 Nor honey make, nor ...
— Coleridge's Ancient Mariner and Select Poems • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... quite stupid unmovable by all that could be urged, or rather, perhaps, the style of the address, as it was described to me, was fitted to confound find bewilder the man rather than enlighten him. In the midst of all this, Mr. Carleton came in he was just then on the wing for America, and he had heard of the poor creature's condition in a visit to his father. He came my informant said like a being of a different planet. He took the man's hand he was chained foot and wrist 'My poor friend,' he said, 'I have been thinking of you here, shut ...
— Queechy, Volume II • Elizabeth Wetherell

... dead, Have sung the song you sing? Some by an arrow were sped; Some by a dagger's sting.' 'Like a bird in the night is my song—a bird on the wing!' ...
— The Dark Star • Robert W. Chambers

... fainted and lay like one dead on my arm, her white face upturned to mine, her long black lashes sweeping the marble cheeks, and the dark curls falling backward from the white brow and floating on the wind, as Fatima flashed along the woodland path like a swallow on the wing. ...
— The Rose of Old St. Louis • Mary Dillon

... when white moths were on the wing, And moth-like stars were flickering out, I dropped the berry in a stream, And ...
— The Pleasures of Ignorance • Robert Lynd

... to wheel them — he was racing on the wing Where the best and boldest riders take their place, And he raced his stock-horse past them, and he made the ranges ring With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face. Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash, But they saw their well-loved mountain ...
— The Man from Snowy River • Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson

... shrink from the contest, and, like their southern friends, jump up and run! Oh no; to a man they have been taught to read; to a man they have been instructed to KNOW, and dearer than life to prize, the blessings of FREEDOM. Their bodies are lying behind ditches, but their thoughts are on the wing, darting through eternity. The warning voice of God still rings in their ears. The hated forms of proud merciless kings pass before their eyes. They look back to the days of old, and strengthen themselves as they think ...
— The Life of General Francis Marion • Mason Locke Weems

... bird appears a thoughtless thing, He's ever living on the wing, And keeps up such a carolling, That little else to do but sing A man ...
— Books for Children - The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, Vol. 3 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... thousand fears, Parch'd to the throat, my tongue adheres. My pulse beats quick, my breath heaves short, My limbs deny their slight support. Cold dews my pallid face o'erspread, With deadly languor droops my head. My ears with tingling echoes ring, And life itself is on the wing; My eyes refuse the cheering light, Their orbs are veil'd in starless night: Such pangs my nature sinks beneath, ...
— Fugitive Pieces • George Gordon Noel Byron

... flavo-cinctus being marked with yellow where the other bird is white, but by the general distribution of the colours. In this respect, M. flavo-cinctus resembles more closely the true Orioles, particularly in the yellow fascia which is formed on the wing, when closed by the junction of the apical spots ...
— Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2] • Phillip Parker King

... become sufficiently reconciled to her new dress to wear it with less apparent inconvenience; she was, indeed, once caught tripping, having one evening taken an opportunity of throwing it off, when finding herself light and free, like a bird on the wing, she ran into the jungle, where she frisked about and enjoyed herself for some time; after which she returned to the seaman's hut, and resumed ...
— A Voyage Round the World, Vol. I (of ?) • James Holman

... that could but niggardly give me sight of her; not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to know what she would have given; briefly, I have pursued her as love hath pursued me; which hath been on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind or in my means, meed, I am sure, I have received none, unless experience be a jewel that I have purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to ...
— The Merry Wives of Windsor • William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

... has a dove-cote safe and small, Hid in the velvet sky: The doves are her companions sweet; She has no others. Moon doves on the wing are white As a valley of stars, When they fly, there is shining Like a golden river. I see so many whirling away and away, How can they get home again? The moon is calm and never wears an anxious ...
— Poems By a Little Girl • Hilda Conkling

... that is yet unacquainted with the powers of Shakespeare, and who desires to feel the highest pleasure that the drama can give, read every play from the first scene to the last with utter negligence of all his commentators. When his fancy is once on the wing, let it not stoop at correction or explanation. When his attention is strongly engaged let it disdain alike to turn aside to the name of Theobald and of Pope. Let him read on through brightness and obscurity, through integrity and corruption; let him ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell

... legends are connected. There is a bird, probably the peewit, which during dry weather may be seen always on the wing, and piteously crying Peet, Peet,[432] as if begging for water. Of it the following tale is told. When God created the earth, and determined to supply it with seas, lakes and rivers, he ordered the birds to convey the waters to their appointed places. They all obeyed except this bird, which ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... hands of Allan Quatermain this weapon, obsolete as it is to-day, was capable of great things within the limits of its range, and that the faith he put in it at the trial of skill at the Groote Kloof, and afterwards in the fearful ordeal of the shooting of the vultures on the wing, upon the Mount of Slaughter, when the lives of many hung upon his marksmanship, was well justified. This, indeed, is shown by the results in ...
— Marie - An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain • H. Rider Haggard

... sorry, signora. I will leave you at once. Permit me to wish you a very good-morning." He took his hat and went towards the door. Before he reached the heavy curtain, she was at his side with a rush like a falcon on the wing, her eyes burning darkly between ...
— A Roman Singer • F. Marion Crawford

... the primrose clouds of the horizon hung a huge opal dome in mid-heaven. At first they hardly realized what it meant. Then shouts went up—'Land!' 'Mountains!' 'Snow-peaks!' The St Peter glided forward noiseless as a bird on the wing. Inlets and harbours, turquoise-green and silent, opened along a jagged, green and alabaster shore. As the vessel approached the land the explorers saw that the white wall of the inner harbour was a rampart of solid ice; but ...
— Pioneers of the Pacific Coast - A Chronicle of Sea Rovers and Fur Hunters • Agnes C. Laut

... hold of it and shove it! It is labour, but you love it; Let your stroke be long and mighty; keep your body on the swing; While your pulses dance a measure Full of pride and full of pleasure. And the boat flies free and joyous like a swallow on the wing. ...
— The Vagabond and Other Poems from Punch • R. C. Lehmann

... exchanged their game, their baskets, and their ornamented moccasins, for the much-coveted goods of civilized life. Frequent among these guests was Towandahoc, Great Black Eagle,—so called from his first boyish feat, when, riding at full gallop, he had shot down an eagle on the wing, so unerring was his aim; and its feathers now adorned his head. Towandahoc was a great hunter, and did not disdain to traffic with the "pale faces," not only for rifles and gunpowder, but for many domestic comforts to which most Indians are indifferent. But Great Black ...
— Holidays at the Grange or A Week's Delight - Games and Stories for Parlor and Fireside • Emily Mayer Higgins

... the most beautiful in the world. As the weather was now simply perfect, the boys enjoyed very much the canoe excursions, and, in addition, a fair amount of shooting. Ducks, partridges and other birds were shot on the wing, or at the points where they stopped to ...
— Three Boys in the Wild North Land • Egerton Ryerson Young

... of Pope enabled him to condense his sentiments, to multiply his images, and to accumulate all that study might produce, or chance might supply. If the flights of Dryden, therefore, are higher, Pope continues longer on the wing. If of Dryden's fire the blaze is brighter, of Pope the heat is more regular and constant. Dryden often surpasses expectation, and Pope never falls below it. Dryden is read with frequent astonishment, and Pope with ...
— The Dramatic Works of John Dryden Vol. I. - With a Life of the Author • Sir Walter Scott

... were the wandering albatross—the "Diomedia exulans," as naturalists term it—which sailors believe to float constantly in the upper air, never alighting on land or sea, but living perpetually on the wing! ...
— Fritz and Eric - The Brother Crusoes • John Conroy Hutcheson

... and white birds of heavy build. Short, thick head; gaping, large mouth; very small bill, with bristles at base. Take insect food on the wing. Feet small and weak; wings long and powerful. These birds rest lengthwise on their perch while sleeping through the brightest daylight hours, or on the ground, where they ...
— Bird Neighbors • Neltje Blanchan

... practice with his sling, he brought his marksmanship up to that of his unaided hand, equal to which, at an earlier date, was his skill at hatchet-throwing. He could outrun and tomahawk the fastest hog, could bring down with his sling a kangaroo on the jump or a pigeon on the wing, could smell and distinguish game to windward with the keen scent of a hound, and became so formidable an enemy of his troublesome rivals, the dingoes,—whose flesh he disapproved of,—and the sharks in the lagoon, that the one deserted ...
— "Where Angels Fear to Tread" and Other Stories of the Sea • Morgan Robertson

... song that their grandmothers sang when they were little girls and which one day their children's children will sing, for songs are frail immortals which fly from lip to lip throughout the ages. The lips that sing them lose their color and are silent one after the other, but the songs are always on the wing. There are songs that come down to us from a time when all the men were shepherds and all the women shepherdesses—which tell us of nothing ...
— Our Children - Scenes from the Country and the Town • Anatole France

... assigned for it in the garden. Next morning, a hole in the side of the box is quietly opened, when one or two of the strangers soon make their appearance, wondering, evidently, where they are, but apparently resolved to make the most of their new circumstances. At last, they rise slowly on the wing, and buzz round and round their new habitation for some time, taking, no doubt, special note of its every peculiarity. The circle of observation is then gradually enlarged, till it is thirty or forty yards in circumference, when the earnest reconnoitrer disappears, to return again in a short ...
— Chambers's Edinburgh Journal, No. 443 - Volume 17, New Series, June 26, 1852 • Various

... Whose power is such, that whom she lifts from earth She makes familiar with a heaven unseen, And shows him glories yet to be revealed. Not slothful he, though seeming unemployed, And censured oft as useless. Stillest streams Oft water fairest meadows; and the bird That flutters least is longest on the wing. Ask him, indeed, what trophies he has raised, Or what achievements of immortal fame He purposes, and he shall answer—None. His warfare is within. There unfatigued His fervent spirit labours. There he fights, And there obtains fresh triumphs o'er himself, And never-withering ...
— The Task and Other Poems • William Cowper

... meteor gleam; Fame, a restless idle dream: Pleasures, insects on the wing Round Peace, the tenderest flower of Spring; Those that sip the dew alone, Make the butterflies thy own; Those that would the bloom devour, Crush the locusts—save the flower. For the future be prepar'd, Guard wherever thou canst guard; But, thy ...
— The Complete Works of Robert Burns: Containing his Poems, Songs, and Correspondence. • Robert Burns and Allan Cunningham

... road and rose again into the air as easily as a man dives into the water. Dark specks beneath the white summer clouds, the swifts, the black albatross of our skies, moved on their unwearied wings. Like the albatross that floats over the ocean and sleeps on the wing, the swift's scimitar-like pinions are careless of repose. Once now and then they came down to earth, not, as might be supposed, to the mansion or the church tower, but to the low tiled roof of an ancient cottage which they fancied for their home. ...
— Field and Hedgerow • Richard Jefferies

... surprise, not one but three of the colonies had swarmed. One had left the hive and alighted on an apple tree nearby, the second was just getting ready to leave, and the third was hanging outside in a way that showed they would soon be on the wing. ...
— Hidden Treasure • John Thomas Simpson

... old birds foraging without—hawks may be abroad, from which they escape or by whom they suffer; but the young ones in the nest have a pretty comfortable unromantic sort of existence in the down and the straw, till it comes to their turn, too, to get on the wing. While Becky Sharp was on her own wing in the country, hopping on all sorts of twigs, and amid a multiplicity of traps, and pecking up her food quite harmless and successful, Amelia lay snug in her home of Russell Square; if she went into ...
— Vanity Fair • William Makepeace Thackeray

... the flowers of the common Broom, and these are adapted by a curious mechanism for cross-fertilisation. When a bee alights on the wing-petals of a young flower, the keel is slightly opened and the short stamens spring out, which rub their pollen against the abdomen of the bee. If a rather older flower is visited for the first time (or ...
— The Effects of Cross & Self-Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom • Charles Darwin

... question—the possibility of publication. Her diaries are less systematic than I hoped; she only had a blessed habit of noting and narrating. She summarised, she saved; she appears seldom indeed to have let a good story pass without catching it on the wing. I allude of course not so much to things she heard as to things she saw and felt. She writes sometimes of herself, sometimes of others, sometimes of the combination. It's under this last rubric that she's usually most vivid. But it's ...
— Embarrassments • Henry James

... and started to go through the buckwheat. He had got about half-way, when a hen rose a few feet from him, at his right. He was not much accustomed to shooting on the wing; and it is much harder to hit birds rising suddenly, at random, in that way, than when they are started by a trained dog. But good luck made up for what he lacked in skill; and at his fire the hen dropped fluttering in the grass that bordered ...
— The Young Surveyor; - or Jack on the Prairies • J. T. Trowbridge

... never got into scrapes by blaming people wrongly; but I often do by praising them wrongly. I never praised, without qualification, but one scientific book in my life (that I remember)—this of Dr. Pettigrew's on the Wing;[12] and now I must qualify my praise considerably, discovering, when I examined the book farther, that the good doctor had described the motion of a bird as resembling that of a kite, without ever inquiring what, ...
— Love's Meinie - Three Lectures on Greek and English Birds • John Ruskin

... moreover a man of parts and witty; loving the pleasures of the table, and like all men perpetually the slaves of imperious toil, he felt the need of vigorous amusement, taken on the wing and highly spiced. While purifying after a fashion his judicial life, he still continued the legal adviser of artists, men of letters, actresses, courtesans, and elegant bohemians like Maxime de Trailles, because he liked to live their ...
— The Deputy of Arcis • Honore de Balzac

... that he has not the power of speaking extempore. He requires careful and studious preparation, and has never attained the art of off-hand parliamentary discussion, which Colonel Benton likened to "shooting on the wing." So deficient is Mr. Schurz in this talent, that he has been known to use a manuscript in an after-dinner response, a style of speech whose chief merit consists in its spontaneity, with apt reference to incidents which could ...
— Twenty Years of Congress, Volume 2 (of 2) • James Gillespie Blaine

... through the undergrowth, and bounding over obstructions as though they were not worth his notice. The ordinary hunter might have found time to fire one shot, when the game would have vanished like a bird on the wing, before he could reload; but the occasion was a good one for Deerfoot to display his wonderful fleetness, and he was in the mood to do so. He had made his gestures and uttered his cries for the very purpose of ...
— Camp-fire and Wigwam • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... at the hall bell startled the house, echoing through the Boundaries, astonishing the rooks, and sending them on the wing. On state occasions it pleased Judith to answer the door herself; her helpmate, over whom she held undisputed sway, ruling her with a tight hand, dared not come forward to attempt it. The bell tinkled still, and Judy, believing ...
— The Channings • Mrs. Henry Wood

... ever awake, awake, My fancy is never asleep; Like a bird on the wing, like a swan on the lake, Like a ship far ...
— The Modern Scottish Minstrel, Volume V. - The Songs of Scotland of the Past Half Century • Various

... her and others over the social teacup. She pleasantly referred to his many wanderings in his new occupation. "Yes," he replied, "I am like the Huma, the bird that never lights, being always in the ears, as he is always on the wing,"—Years elapsed. The lecturer visited the same place once more for the same purpose. Another social cup after the lecture, and a second meeting with the distinguished lady. "You are constantly going from place to place," she ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... Rabbits sprung up under my feet as I made my way through the fern and heather; and pheasants, their varied plumage glittering in the sunlight, ran along my path, seeking to hide their long necks under some sheltering furze brake, or rose heavily on the wing, scared at the unwonted intrusion. At any other time the fair scene 396 around me would have sufficed to make me light-hearted and happy, but in the state of suspense and mental torture in which I then was, the brightness of nature seemed ...
— Frank Fairlegh - Scenes From The Life Of A Private Pupil • Frank E. Smedley

... because I am about to leave this country, because I have no longer any link to bind me to it, any resting-place on its soil, that my spirit is ready on the wing? I know not, but it seems to me I have never as clearly seen and comprehended it as to-day. And more even than ever do I find it little, aged, with wornout blood and worn-out sap; I feel more fully its antediluvian antiquity, its centuries of mummification, which will soon degenerate into hopeless ...
— Madame Chrysantheme Complete • Pierre Loti

... setting-pole, the better to restrain the speed of the boat at the most rapid and dangerous passes, and struck out into the current, adown which, under the quick and skilful strokes of its experienced oarsman, it was borne with almost the swiftness of a bird on the wing, till it reached the quiet waters of the pond; and, this being soon passed over, they entered and descended the next reach of rapids with equal speed and safety. All the dangers and difficulties were now over; and, leisurely ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... Katydid promised. "And now let me give you a bit of advice. When you meet Mr. Nighthawk, keep perfectly still. He's a hungry fellow, always on the look-out for somebody to eat. But he has one peculiar habit: he won't grab you unless you're moving through the air. He always takes his food on the wing." ...
— The Tale of Chirpy Cricket • Arthur Scott Bailey

... which breed about the hills and woods of Carpentras, migrate in autumn. While on the wing they are allured down to nets laid for them by ortolans singing in cages. Those caught are put into dark rooms, where they are fattened. In about a month's time they become so plump as hardly to be able to fly, when they are ...
— The South of France—East Half • Charles Bertram Black

... we are thinking our fathers would think; From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink; To the life we are clinging our fathers would cling; But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing. ...
— The Life and Public Service of General Zachary Taylor: An Address • Abraham Lincoln

... sudden cheer, this laughter of the old world, these overwhelming flashes of wit, of which the sparkling verse of Voltaire, the Persian Letters, give us a faint idea! Even the most brilliant books have not succeeded in catching on the wing this airy chatter, which comes, goes, flies elusively. This is that spirit of ethereal nature which, in the Thousand and One Nights, the enchanter confined in his bottle. But what phial ...
— All About Coffee • William H. Ukers

... march of Spring Carpets your mountain fastness over,— Till chattering birds are on the wing, And buzzing bees ...
— Literary Hearthstones of Dixie • La Salle Corbell Pickett

... by accident or inadvertently, but proudly and with an air of triumph. Presuppositions are imposed on all of us by life itself: for instance the presupposition that life is to continue, and that it is worth living. Belief is born on the wing and awakes to many tacit commitments. Afterwards, in reflection, we may wonder at finding these presuppositions on our hands and, being ignorant of the natural causes which have imposed them on the animal mind, we may be offended at them. Their arbitrary and dogmatic character will tempt us to ...
— Some Turns of Thought in Modern Philosophy - Five Essays • George Santayana

... in these enlightened days, That splendid lies are all the Poet's praise; That strained invention, ever on the wing, Alone impels the modern Bard to sing. 'Tis true that all who rhyme, nay, all who write, Shrink from that fatal word to genius, trite: Yet Truth will sometimes lend her noblest fires, And decorate the verse herself inspires. ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... the toiling hand of Care; The panting herds repose: Yet hark, how thro' the peopled air The busy murmur glows! The insect youth are on the wing, 25 Eager to taste the honied spring, And float amid the liquid noon: Some lightly o'er the current skim, Some show their gayly-gilded trim Quick-glancing ...
— Select Poems of Thomas Gray • Thomas Gray

... Halleck, who kept on eating wheat and defying the sharpshooters, who were unable to hit him, though he was a conspicuous target. The secret of it was he did not stand still, but kept moving, and they had to hit him, if at all, like a bird on the wing which at the distance was a hard ...
— Personal Recollections of a Cavalryman - With Custer's Michigan Cavalry Brigade in the Civil War • J. H. (James Harvey) Kidd

... reluctant to raise often their lids, so smooth and so full- fringed. Graham, too, must have been tired with his day's work: he listened dutifully to his elders and betters, said very little himself, and followed with his eye the gilded glance of Paulina's thimble; as if it had been some bright moth on the wing, or the golden head of some darting little ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... My thoughts were on the wing, And back my fancy fled To where contentment dwelt In the neat humble shed; To shining courts From thence it ran, Where restless pride ...
— Cottage Poems • Patrick Bronte

... to scream than sing," The Book-man said. "Well, fancy, then," The Reader answered, "on the wing The sea-birds shriek it, not for men, But in the ear of wave and breeze!" The Traveller mused: "Your Manisees Is fairy-land: off Narragansett shore Who ever saw the isle or heard its ...
— The Complete Works of Whittier - The Standard Library Edition with a linked Index • John Greenleaf Whittier

... from day to day and adjourn, no one knows how long, until this committee reports, and then the discussion will commence which ought to commence now. Mr. PRESIDENT, if any thing is accomplished, it must be accomplished speedily. Events are on the wing. Already in my State the delegates are elected to a Convention, which is to meet next week, to consider the subject which now engrosses the minds of the American people. I hope my suggestion may meet with favor ...
— A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention • Lucius Eugene Chittenden

... audience and a French audience at the theatre is marked. The Frenchman brings down a witticism on the wing. The Briton pauses for it to alight and give him reasonable time for deliberate aim. In English playhouses an appreciable number of seconds usually precede the smile or the ripple of laughter that follows a facetious turn of the least ...
— Ponkapog Papers • Thomas Bailey Aldrich

... cunning Darius: "Now I shan't go Along 'ith the fellers to see the show. I'll say I've got sich a terrible cough! An' then, when the folks 'ave all gone off, I'll hev full swing Fer to try the thing, An' practyse a leetle on the wing." "Ain't goin' to see the celebration?" Says Brother Nate. "No; botheration! I've got sich a cold—a toothache—I— My ...
— The Wit and Humor of America, Volume VIII (of X) • Various

... an Enfield rifle, a gun not designed for such small game. By beating Minie-balls out flat, then cutting the plates into square blocks or slugs, I prepared my ammunition, and in the first eleven shots killed nine quail on the wing. I was shooting for the pot, and shot ...
— The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson • Edward A. Moore

... says of him that he has not the power of speaking extempore; that he requires careful and studious preparation, and is never ready, off-hand, to shoot on the wing. I do not agree with Mr. Blaine's estimate of Mr. Schurz in that particular. I have heard him make very effective speeches in the Senate, and elsewhere, that were undoubtedly extemporary. Mr. Blaine says that Mr. Schurz is so deficient in this respect that he has been known to use ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... time, then, that we were on the wing," asserted the general, rising. "Colonel Webb, tell General St. Clair to hold the enemy in check as long as he can. You, Baylor, direct Colonel Forrest to plant his guns on the green, to cover the rearguard. General ...
— Janice Meredith • Paul Leicester Ford

... hands together with a sounding clap he caught and crushed a fly on the wing, and he laughed loud and cheerily, believing with all his simple soul in the feasibility of a plan that seemed so simple, steadfast in his faith in the invincibility of French courage. He good-naturedly informed ...
— The Downfall • Emile Zola

... must be good-bye—for some time, at least. I came to tell you that I am on the wing again. Doctor's orders, you know. I shall be in Bordighera ...
— A Comedy of Masks - A Novel • Ernest Dowson and Arthur Moore

... at the Spring, And day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hillside's dew-pearled: The lark's on the wing; The snail's on the thorn; God's in His heaven— All's right ...
— There was a King in Egypt • Norma Lorimer

... little annoying to John, who had several times tried in vain to break him of it—that of shooting at marks. If birds were not plenty, he would throw up a chip, and sometimes his hat, by way of shooting on the wing. ...
— Precaution • James Fenimore Cooper

... modest-salaried operator in our telegraph office, where he had to send about one dispatch a week in ordinary times, and two when there was a rush of business; consequently, when he appeared in our midst one day, on the wing, and delivered a military command of some sort, in a large military fashion, nobody was surprised at the response which he got ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... roar of thunder. Some had approached so near, that the men on horseback, striking with their guns, knocked several to the ground; and the Kentuckian, stretching upward his long arm, actually caught one of them on the wing. In an instant they were out of sight; but at that instant two great birds appeared before us at the opening of the forest, which were at once recognised as a brace of white-headed eagles (Falco leucocephalus). This accounted for the rash flight of the pigeons; for the eagles ...
— The Hunters' Feast - Conversations Around the Camp Fire • Mayne Reid

... did not dare to ride any nearer, so jumping off his pony he ran in towards the bird as hard as he could go. When he had covered ten paces the pauw was rising, but they are heavy birds, and he was within forty yards before it was fairly on the wing. Then he pulled up and fired both barrels of No. 4 into it. Down it came, and, incautious man, he rushed forward in triumph without reloading his gun. Already was his hand outstretched to seize the prize, when, behold! the great wings spread themselves out ...
— Jess • H. Rider Haggard

... a tree at a short distance from my house, and, after remaining seated for some time, one of them, who appeared to be commander-in-chief, kept flying about in all directions, and at length, with a sharp and loudly repeated call, he darted up into the air. In an instant the whole congregation were on the wing, following their leader in a sort of spiral track. In a little time they had risen so high that I lost sight of them, but after a short absence they again returned and took up their position on the tree ...
— Stories about the Instinct of Animals, Their Characters, and Habits • Thomas Bingley

... arrows, stood ready for the fight. Then the firmament became enveloped in clouds emitting flashes of lightning, and the coloured bow of Indra appeared shedding its effulgent rays. And the clouds seemed to laugh on account of the rows of white cranes that were then on the wing. And seeing Indra thus viewing the arena from affection (for his son), the sun too dispersed the clouds from over his own offspring. And Phalguna remained deep hid under cover of the clouds, while Karna remained ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa - Translated into English Prose - Adi Parva (First Parva, or First Book) • Kisari Mohan Ganguli (Translator)

... No wonder they hastened their flight to earth, and having announced the good tidings, lingered over the fields of Bethlehem, singing as they hovered on the wing. To announce bad news is the unenviable office often imposed on ministers of the gospel; and recollecting with what slow, reluctant steps my feet approached the house where I had to break to a mother the tidings of the wreck, and how her sailor boy with all hands had perished; or, in the ...
— The Angels' Song • Thomas Guthrie

... The choir of Wisdom's song, But pretty lies loved I As much as any king, When youth was on the wing, And (must it then be told?) when ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 1 (of 4) • Various

... These doves, in taking flight, do not rise from the ground at once, but, edging themselves closer to the brink, with a caution almost ludicrous in such airy things, trust themselves upon the breeze with a shy little hop, and at the next moment are securely on the wing. ...
— Oldport Days • Thomas Wentworth Higginson

... time, or brought down in great numbers by shot-guns. The marshalled hosts of wild geese made their noisy flights over the land in the spring and fall, traversing a space spanning the continent north and south. They were brought down by the gun, on the wing, or surprised while resting in their long route or stopped by storms, around secluded ponds or swamps. Ducks and other aquatic birds were abundant on the rivers and marshes, and pursued in canoes along the bays and seashores. Salt-water fish were within reach in the neighboring ...
— Salem Witchcraft, Volumes I and II • Charles Upham

... I think that Flower and Herb already show their gratitude. My Blackbird (I think it is the same I have tried to keep alive during the Winter) seems also to have 'wetted his Whistle,' and what they call the 'Cuckoo's mate,' with a rather harsh scissor note, announces that his Partner may be on the wing to these Latitudes. You will hear of him at Mr. W. Shakespeare's, it may be. There must be Violets, white and blue, somewhere about where he lies, I think. They are generally found in a Churchyard, ...
— Letters of Edward FitzGerald to Fanny Kemble (1871-1883) • Edward FitzGerald



Words linked to "On the wing" :   in flight



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