1. William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act V, Scene V
2. John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft a-gley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain
For promis’d joy.
Robert Burns, "To a Mouse"
3. Thomas Hardy, Far From the Madding Crowd
Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Thomas Gray, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard"
4. Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind
I have forgot much, Cynara! gone with the wind,
Flung roses, roses riotously with the throng,
Dancing, to put thy pale, lost lilies out of mind;
But I was desolate and sick of an old passion,
Yea, all the time, because the dance was long:
I have been faithful to thee, Cynara! in my fashion.
Ernest Dowson, "Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae"
5. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Julia Ward Howe, "The Battle-Hymn of the Republic"
6. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Clustered around by all her starry Fays....
John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale"
7. Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
I'll example you with thievery:
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
Robs the vast sea; the moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun....
Shakespeare, Timon of Athens, Act IV, Scene III
8. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene I
9. Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
William Butler Yeats, "The Second Coming"
10. Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel
Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth.
And, O ye Dolphins, waft the haples youth.
John Milton, "Lycidas"