Quotation by Shakespeare

It was the owl that shrieked, the fatal bellman,
Which gives the stern'st good night.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Lady Macbeth, in Macbeth, act 2, sc. 2, l. 3-4.

A duty of the "bellman" or town means crier was to announce deaths, and the owl was thought a bird of ill omen.
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