This gentle, entrancing description of Macbeth’s castle has it providing a home for house martins to build their nests, giving no intimation of the horrors to come.
This guest of summer
The temple-haunting martlet, does approve
By his loved masonry that the heaven’s breath
Smells wooingly here: no jutty, frieze,
Buttress, nor coign of vantage, but this bird
Hath made his pendant bed and procreant cradle:
Where they most breed and haunt, I have observed
The air is delicate.
Not for long…
The martlet, a mythical manifestation of a house martin which never lands on the ground, was depicted in heraldry as being without feet.
Source: Shakespeare, Macbeth, I.vi