Ivy Bush

Like an owl in an ivy-bush. Having a sapient, vacant look, as some persons have when in their cups; having a stupid vacant stare. Owls are proverbial for their judge-like solemnity, and ivy is the favourite plant of Bacchus. Gray, in his Elegy, refers to the Owl and the Ivy.

From yonder ivy-mantled tower
The moping owl doth to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Stanzs 3.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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