“The Silver Swan who, living, had no note,
When death approached, unlocked her silent throat.
Leaning her breast against the reedy shore,
Thus sung her first and last,
And sung no more:
Farewell all joys, O death come close mine eyes.
More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.”
— Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625), The Silver Swan
From Ireland to Siberia, it was taboo to kill a swan. To do so would cause misfortune and death.