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date: 24 March 2023

Thomas Hardy 1840–1928
English novelist and poet 

  1. War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.
    The Dynasts (1904) pt. 1, act 2, sc. 5
  2. It is hard for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
    Far from the Madding Crowd (1874)
  3. Done because we are too menny.
    Jude the Obscure (1896) pt. 6, ch. 2
  4. Some folk want their luck buttered.
    The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) ch. 13
  5. Dialect words—those terrible marks of the beast to the truly genteel.
    The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) ch. 20
  6. She whose youth had seemed to teach that happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.
    The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886) ch. 45, closing words
  7. Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
    Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891) ch. 43
  8. ‘Justice’ was done, and the President of the Immortals (in Aeschylean phrase) had ended his sport with Tess.
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891) ch. 59
  9. Good, but not religious-good.
    Under the Greenwood Tree (1872) ch. 2
  10. When the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
    And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
    Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
    ‘He was a man who used to notice such things’?
    ‘Afterwards’ (1917)
  11. ‘Peace upon earth!’ was said. We sing it,
    And pay a million priests to bring it.
    After two thousand years of mass
    We've got as far as poison-gas.
    ‘Christmas: 1924’ (1928)
  12. In a solitude of the sea
    Deep from human vanity,
    And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
    ‘Convergence of the Twain’ (1914)
  13. The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything.
    ‘Convergence of the Twain’ (1914)
  14. At once a voice outburst among
    The bleak twigs overhead
    In a full-hearted evensong
    Of joy illimited;
    An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
    In blast-beruffled plume,
    Had chosen thus to fling his soul
    Upon the growing gloom.
    ‘The Darkling Thrush’ (1902)
  15. There trembled through
    His happy good-night air
    Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
    And I was unaware.
    ‘The Darkling Thrush’ (1902)
  16. If way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.
    ‘De Profundis’ (1902)
  17. I am the family face;
    Flesh perishes, I live on,
    Projecting trait and trace
    Through time to times anon,
    And leaping from place to place
    Over oblivion.
    ‘Heredity’ (1917)
  18. Only a man harrowing clods
    In a slow silent walk
    With an old horse that stumbles and nods
    Half asleep as they stalk.
    ‘In Time of “The Breaking of Nations” ’ (1917)
  19. Let me enjoy the earth no less
    Because the all-enacting Might
    That fashioned forth its loveliness
    Had other aims than my delight.
    ‘Let me Enjoy’ (1909)
  20. Yes; quaint and curious war is!
    You shoot a fellow down
    You'd treat if met where any bar is,
    Or help to half-a-crown.
    ‘The Man he Killed’ (1909)
  21. What of the faith and fire within us
    Men who march away.
    ‘Men Who March Away’ (1914)
  22. Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me.
    ‘The Voice’ (1914)
  23. This is the weather the cuckoo likes,
    And so do I;
    When showers betumble the chestnut spikes,
    And nestlings fly.
    ‘Weathers’ (1922)
  24. When I set out for Lyonnesse,
    A hundred miles away.
    ‘When I set out for Lyonnesse’ (1914)
  25. The business of the poet and novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things, and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things.
    notebook entry for 19 April 1885