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halcyon: a bird (identified with the kingfisher) of which the ancients fabled that it bred about the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea and produced a calm for the space of fourteen days; (hence) “ days” = period of calm 1H6 I. ii. 131; in Lr. II. ii. 83 “turn their beaks With every gale” there is a ref. to the belief that a dried specimen of the bird hung up so as to move freely would turn in the direction of the wind.
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