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  • A mist had risen from the river; there was no wind; from all round came the cry of the corn-crake, and faint sounds from the mill-wheels of drops that dripped from the paddles and of water gurgling through the bars of the lock.

    A Sportsman's Sketches

  • "Mavis," he had said bitterly, "a song thrush, how inaptly named - a corn-crake of a woman - a mastodon of a female - an extinct mammalian creature with nipple-shaped prominences on her molar teeth."

    The Fifth Rapunzel

  • Now and again a corn-crake, moving in silence, bowed to the ground, but betrayed by its loquacity.

    "Wee Tim'rous Beasties" Studies of Animal life and Character

  • I did not go to bed at all that night; but sat looking out over the quiet, moon-lit garden and over the fields beyond, where the corn-crake was calling, calling; the river slipping like a silver thread at the far-away end of them; and patter, patter out and into the back-garden at

    The Argosy Vol. 51, No. 5, May, 1891

  • From out of the darkness in the direction of Stapleton sounded the monotonous note of a corn-crake.

    The Pothunters

  • The craik amang the claver hay, [corn-crake, clover]

    Robert Burns How To Know Him

  • She's quiet for five minutes then bursts out into song again like a chirruping cricket or a croaking corn-crake.

    A Popular Schoolgirl

  • Then a nightingale began to give forth its long liquid gurgling; and a corn-crake churred in the young wheat.

    Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works

  • As we went, the folk on the bank talked indeed, mingling their kind voices with the cuckoo's song, the sweet strong whistle of the blackbirds and the ceaseless note of the corn-crake as he crept through the long grass of the mowing-field; whence came the waves of fragrance from the flowering clover amidst of the ripe grass.

    News from Nowhere

  • But as that good man is of St. Paul's opinion about women holding their tongues in the synagogue, and is blest with just enough ear to know a contralto from a corn-crake, I have to be hidden away behind a screen in order that his reverence may have all the fun to himself of believing me to be a boy.

    The Christian A Story


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  • A name (originally Scottish) of the bird also called Landrail, Crex pratensis, found in summer in the British Islands; it lives concealed among standing corn and the grass of the hayfields, whence its harsh grating voice may be heard.

    "Heard a long gone song from days gone by

    Blown in on the great North wind

    Though there is no lonesome corn-crake's cry

    Of sorrow and delight

    You can hear the cars and the shouts from bars

    And the laughter and the fights"

    --"Lullaby of London," the Pogues, c. 1988 Shane Macgowan

    February 7, 2007