Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur, Tourterelle des bois.
60 occurrences (24 dove, 13 doves, 3 dove's, 7 turtle, 5 turtles, 1 turtle's, 1 turtle-dove, 1 dove-cote, 2 dovehouse, 1 dove-drawn, 1 dove-like, 1 dove feather'd)
TMP 4 1 94 Dove-drawn with her. Here thought they to have done
WIV 1 3 93 His dove will prove, his gold will hold,
WIV 2 1 78 p ell, I will find you twenty lascivious turtles ere one chaste man.
WIV 3 3 42 p We'll teach him to know turtles from jays.
LLL 4 3 208 Will these turtles be gone?
LLL 5 2 897 When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,
MND 1 1 171 By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
MND 1 2 78 p that I will roar you as gently as any sucking dove;
MND 2 1 232 The dove pursues the griffin, the mild hind
MND 2 2 113 Who will not change a raven for a dove?
MND 5 1 312 What, dead, my dove?
MV 2 2 128 p I have here a dish of doves that I would bestow upon your worship,
SHR 2 1 207 O slow-wing'd turtle, shall a buzzard take thee?
SHR 2 1 208 Ay, for a turtle, as he takes a buzzard.
SHR 2 1 286 For she's not froward, but modest as the dove.
SHR 3 2 155 Tut! She's a lamb, a dove, a fool to him.
TN 5 1 129 To spite a raven's heart within a dove.
WT 4 4 154 Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair
WT 4 4 364 As soft as dove's down and as white as it,
WT 5 3 132 Partake to every one. I, an old turtle,
2H4 3 2 159 p Thou wilt be as valiant as the wrathful dove,
2H4 4 1 46 The dove and very blessed spirit of peace,
1H6 1 2 140 Was Mohammed inspired with a dove?
1H6 1 5 23 So bees with smoke, and doves with noisome stench,
1H6 2 2 30 Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves
2H6 3 1 71 As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove.
2H6 3 1 75 Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrow'd,
3H6 1 4 41 So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
3H6 2 2 18 And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
TRO 3 1 123 He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot blood,
TRO 3 2 176 As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
COR 5 3 27 What is that curtsy worth? Or those dove's eyes,
COR 5 6 114 That, like an eagle in a dove-cote, I
ROM 1 3 27 Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall.
ROM 1 3 33 Shake! quoth the dovehouse. 'Twas no need, I trow,
ROM 1 5 47 So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows
ROM 2 1 10 Cry but `Ay me!' Pronounce but `love' and `dove',
ROM 2 5 7 Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw Love,
ROM 3 2 76 Dove-feather'd raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
HAM 4 5 166 p Fare you well, my dove.
HAM 5 1 281 Anon, as patient as the female dove
OTH 1 1 65 my heart upon my sleeve / For doves to peck at:
ANT 3 13 197 The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still,
PER 4 ch 32 With dove of Paphos might the crow
TNK 1 1 98 Than a dove's motion when the head's plucked off.
TNK 5 1 41 Lay by your anger for an hour and, dove-like,
VEN 10 More white and red than doves or roses are:
VEN 153 Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky
VEN 366 Show'd like two silver doves that sit a-billing.
VEN 1190 And yokes her silver doves, by whose swift aid
LUC 58 From Venus' doves, doth challenge that fair field;
LUC 360 The dove sleeps fast that this night-owl will catch;
PP 7 2 Mild as a dove, but neither true nor trusty,
PP 9 3 Paler for sorrow than her milk-white dove,
PHT 23 Phoenix and the Turtle fled
PHT 31 'Twixt this Turtle and his queen:
PHT 34 That the Turtle saw his right
PHT 50 To the Phoenix and the Dove,
PHT 57 And the Turtle's loyal breast
SON 113 12 The crow or dove, it shapes them to your feature.
In Shakespeare's time, there was only one species of doves, the turtle dove, which is migratory. In 1955 the collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto, Tourterelle turque, started colonizing Britain and is now sedentary, more numerous and more conspicuous than the turtle dove.
The migratory behaviour of the turtle dove was a wonder at the time:
The turtle has that name of the voice; ....he seeketh not company of any other, but goeth alone, and hath in mind the fellowship that is lost, and groaneth alway, and loveth and chooseth solitary places, and flieth much company of men. He cometh in the springing time and warmeth of novelty of time with groaning voice. And in winter he loseth his feathers, and then he hideth him in hollow stacks.
(SEAGER quoting Batman uppon Bartholomew, Bk. 12 § 9)
The turtle dove is the bird that Shakespeare mentions the most. It "has been noticed by poets in all ages as an emblem of love and constancy". (HARTING, p. 191).
And the Turtle's loyal breast
When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves
(1H6 2 2 29-30)
Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,
That never mean to part.
(WT 4 4 154-5)
Therefore doves are associated by Shakespeare as often as possible with such words as love and heart (7 times).
He eats nothing but doves, love, and that breeds hot blood,
(TRO 3 1 123)
Cry but `Ay me!' Pronounce but `love' and `dove',
(ROM 2 1 10)
my heart upon my sleeve / For doves to peck at:
(OTH 1 1 65)
And in the true Elizabethan tradition of world ordering:
As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,
As sun to day, as turtle to her mate,
(TRO 3 2 176)
Another common association (11 times) is that of the dove and whiteness, either directly expressed:
More white and red than doves or roses are:
or more indirectly, in contrast with a black raven (or crow) or a gaudy coloured jay:
We'll teach him to know turtles from jays.
(WIV 3 3 42)
Who will not change a raven for a dove?
(MND 2 2 113)
Shakespeare links the dove with some other more unusual stories:
Was Mohammed inspired with a dove?
(1H6 1 2 140)
It is related that Mohamed had a dove which he used to feed with wheat out of his ear, which dove, when it was hungry, lighted on Mahomed's shoulder and thrust its bill in to find its breakfast, Mahomed persuading the rude and simple Arabians that it was the Holy Ghost that gave him advice. (HARTING quoting Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World, 1614, Bk. I. Part i. c. 6)
"Venus's dove" as well as "Venus's pigeon" (MV 2 6 5) are frequently mentioned by Shakespeare:
By the simplicity of Venus' doves,
(MND 1 1 171)
But nowhere as frequently as in Venus and Adonis, where Shakespeare gives in the last stanza an account of the story he intends to recall when using both this expression and "dove of Paphos" (PER 4 ch. 32).
Thus weary of the world, away she hies,
And yokes her silver doves, by whose swift aid
Their mistress mounted through the empty skies,
In her light chariot quickly is convey'd,
Holding their course to Paphos, where their queen
Means to immure herself, and not be seen.
But it is not only the story Shakespeare wants to recall, it is the atmosphere of purity and melancholy.