Editor's note: each of these delightful quartets obfuscate a common English expression or proverb. To get you started, the answer to the first is "a rolling stone gathers no moss". Don't worry, the answers are given below.
A lithoid form whose onward course
Of little value, his compunctions,
What keeps the avian species warm?
For none who claims to represent
Conducting to a watering-place
That unit of the avian tribe,
Faced with material esculent
Observed the coroner: "Perpend,
To carry haulm of cereal growth
When, nimbus-free, Sol marches by
What's purveyed by the bakery,
The first arrival hirundine
To offer cranial inclination
Observe the avifaunal nations
The topologic reconnection
The gallon's aliquot divisions
Rhetoric art quite fails to turn
The felon who purloins the hart
Omitted from one's cerebration
No matter how he pelf acquires--
However bleak the sight may be
The pond in some deserted mead
She who attends the bain-marie
To Hymen's altar ne'er proceed
By Tiber's side what's social law
The whiskered Nimrod now departs.
See Cavall, Gelert, and the rest
Careful observation shows
The bony herald does not spell
When glazing's used for every tile
A rule regarding cock and hen
Those of the fairer sex will find
A porcine choral education
The power over the demesne
In the set with every human being
Among the threefold classification
The set of meals served at midday
If wistful thinking wanders on
A Yorkish gate, or ginnel, can
1 to 10 by Hubert Phillips, 1943.
1. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
2. It's no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
3. Fine feathers make fine birds.
4. Time and tide wait for no man.
5. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
6. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
7. Too many cooks spoil the broth.
8. Curiosity killed the cat.
9. It's the last straw that breaks the camel's back.
10. Make hay while the sun shines.
11. You can't eat your cake and have it.
12. One swallow doesn't make a summer.
13. A nod's as good as a wink to a blind horse.
14. Birds of a feather flock together.
15. A stitch in time saves nine.
16. You can't get a quart into a pint pot.
17. Fine words butter no parsnips.
18. Poachers make the best gamekeepers.
19. Out of sight, out of mind.
20. A fool and his money are soon parted.
21. Every cloud has a silver lining.
22. Still waters run deep.
23. A watched pot never boils.
24. Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
25. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
26. When the cat's away the mice will play.
27. Let sleeping dogs lie.
28. Blood is thicker than water.
29. Old warriors never die, they simply fade away.
30. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
31. Don't count your chickens before they're hatched.
32. Early to be, early to rise, Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
32. Men don't make passes at women with glasses.
33. Don't teach a pig to sing: it's a waste of time and it annoys the pig.
34. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
35. There's none so blind as those who will not see
36. There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
37. There's no such thing as a free lunch.
38. If wishes were horses then beggars would ride.
39. It's a long lane that has no turning.
40. It's no use flogging a dead horse