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thomas hardy Quotes

Thomas Hardy Quotes

Birth Date: 1840-06-02 (Tuesday, June 2nd, 1840)
Date of Death: 1928-01-11 (Wednesday, January 11th, 1928)



    • These purblind Doomsters had as readily strown Blisses about my pilgrimage as pain.
    • When I set out for Lyonnesse, A hundred miles away, The rime was on the spray, And starlight lit my lonesomeness.
    • To discover evil in a new friend is to most people only an additional experience
    • With all, the beautiful things of the earth become more dear as they elude pursuit; but with some natures utter elusion is the one special event which will make a passing love permanent for ever.
    • To dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature. At the passing of the breeze the fir-trees sob and moan no less distinctly than they rock; the holly whistles as it battles with itself; the ash hisses amid its quiverings; the beech rustles while its flat boughs rise and fall.
    • Good, but not religious-good.
    • Of course poets have morals and manners of their own, and custom is no argument with them.
    • Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.
    • A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all. Circumspection and devotion are a contradiction in terms.
    • You calculated how to be uncalculating, and are natural by art!
    • I have seldom known a man cunning with his brush who was not simple with his tongue; or, indeed, any skill in particular that was not allied to general stupidity.
    • William Dewy, Tranter Reuben, Farmer Ledlow late at plough, Robert's kin, and John's, and Ned's, And the Squire, and Lady Susan, lie in Mellstock churchyard now!
    • They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest Uncoffined - just as found: His landmark is a kopje-crest That breaks the veldt around; And foreign constellations west Each night above his mound. Young Hodge the Drummer never knew - Fresh from his Wessex home - The meaning of the broad Karoo, The Bush, the dusty loam, And why uprose to nightly view Strange stars amid the gloam. Yet portion of that unknown plain Will Hodge forever be; His homely Northern breast and brain Grow to some Southern tree, And strange-eyed constellations reign His stars eternally.
    • Whence comes solace? Not from seeing, What is doing, suffering, being; Not from noting Life's conditions, Not from heeding Time's monitions; But in cleaving to the Dream And in gazing at the Gleam Whereby gray things golden seem.
    • When false things are brought low, And swift things have grown slow, Feigning like froth shall go, Faith be for aye.
    • I leant upon a coppice gate When Frost was spectre-gray, And Winter's dregs made desolate The weakening eye of day.
    • An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small, In blast-beruffled plume, Had chosen thus to fling his soul Upon the growing gloom. So little cause for carolings Of such ecstatic sound Was written on terrestrial things Afar or nigh around, That I could think there trembled through His happy good-night air Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew And I was unaware.
    • The Earth, say'st thou? The Human race? By Me created? Sad its lot? Nay: I have no remembrance of such place: Such world I fashioned not.
    • Here by the baring bough Raking up leaves, Often I ponder how Springtime deceives,- I, an old woman now, Raking up leaves.
    • 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.
    • We two kept house, the Past and I, The Past and I; I tended while it hovered nigh, Leaving me never alone.
    • In a solitude of the sea Deep from human vanity, And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.
    • And as the smart ship grew In stature, grace, and hue, In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too. Alien they seemed to be; No mortal eye could see The intimate welding of their later history, Or sign that they were bent By paths coincident On being anon twin halves of one august event, Till the Spinner of the Years Said 'Now!' And each one hears, And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.
    • I seem but a dead man held on end To sink down soon.... O you could not know That such swift fleeing No soul foreseeing - Not even I - would undo me so!
    • Woman much missed, how you call to me, call to me, Saying that now you are not as you were When you had changed from the one who was all to me, But as at first, when our day was fair.
    • What of the faith and fire within us Men who march away Ere the barn-cocks say Night is growing gray, To hazards whence no tears can win us; What of the faith and fire within us Men who march away!
    • That night your great guns, unawares, Shook all our coffins as we lay, And broke the chancel window-squares, We thought it was the Judgement Day.
    • Only a man harrowing clods In a slow silent walk With an old horse that stumbles and nods Half asleep as they stalk. Only thin smoke without flame From the heaps of couch-grass; Yet this will go onward the same Though Dynasties pass. Yonder a maid and her wight Come whispering by: War's annals will cloud into night Ere their story die.
    • 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.
    • Ah, no; the years, the years; Down their carved names the raindrop plows.
    • 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'?
    • This is the weather the shepherd shuns, And so do I.
    • And meadow rivulets overflow, And drops on gate bars hang in a row, And rooks in families homeward go, And so do I.
    • A star looks down at me, And says: 'Here I and you Stand each in our degree: What do you mean to do,- Mean to do?'
    • If all hearts were open and all desires known - as they would be if people showed their souls - how many gapings, sighings, clenched fists, knotted brows, broad grins, and red eyes should we see in the market-place!
    • The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.
    • Or, to state his character as it stood in the scale of public opinion, when his friends and critics were in tantrums, he was considered rather a bad man; when they were pleased, he was rather a good man; when they were neither, he was a man whose moral colour was a kind of pepper-and-salt mixture.
    • The sovereign brilliancy of Sirius pierced the eye with a steely glitter, the star called Capella was yellow, Aldebaran and Betelgueux shone with a fiery red. To persons standing alone on a hill during a clear midnight such as this, the roll of the world eastward is almost a palpable movement.
    • To find themselves utterly alone at night where company is desirable and expected makes some people fearful; but a case more trying by far to the nerves is to discover some mysterious companionship when intuition, sensation, memory, analogy, testimony, probability, induction - every kind of evidence in the logician's list - have united to persuade consciousness that it is quite in isolation.
    • A nice unparticular man.
    • It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.
    • Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its floor.
    • In fact, precisely at this transitional point of its nightly roll into darkness the great and particular glory of the Egdon waste began, and nobody could be said to understand the heath who had not been there at such a time. It could best be felt when it could not clearly be seen, its complete effect and explanation lying in this and the succeeding hours before the next dawn; then, and only then, did it tell its true tale.
    • The place became full of a watchful intentness now; for when other things sank blooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen.
    • The great inviolate place had an ancient permanence which the sea cannot claim. Who can say of a particular sea that it is old? Distilled by the sun, kneaded by the moon, it is renewed in a year, in a day, or in an hour. The sea changed, the fields changed, the rivers, the villages, and the people changed, yet Egdon remained.
    • Above the plain rose the hill, above the hill rose the barrow, and above the barrow rose the figure. Above the figure was nothing that could be mapped elsewhere than on a celestial globe.
    • She had the hard, half-apathetic expression of one who deems anything possible at the hands of Time and Chance except, perhaps, fair play.
    • And all her shining keys will be took from her, and her cupboards opened; and little things a' didn't wish seen, anybody will see; and her wishes and ways will all be as nothing!
    • Who is such a reprobate as I! And yet it seems that even I be in Somebody's hand!
    • But the ingenious machinery contrived by the Gods for reducing human possibilities of amelioration to a minimum - which arranges that wisdom to do shall come pari passu with the departure of zest for doing - stood in the way of all that.
    • That Elizabeth-Jane Farfrae be not told of my death, or made to grieve on account of me. And that I be not bury'd in consecrated ground. And that no sexton be asked to toll the bell. And that nobody is wished to see my dead body. And that no murners walk behind me at my funeral. And that no flours be planted on my grave. And that no man remember me.
    • Her strong sense that neither she nor any human being deserved less than was given, did not blind her to the fact that there were others receiving less who had deserved much more. And in being forced to class herself among the fortunate she did not cease to wonder at the persistence of the unforeseen, when the one to whom such unbroken tranquility had been accorded in the adult stage was she whose youth had seemed to teach that happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.
    • All that blooth means heavy autumn work for him and his hands.
    • 'Twas a little one-eyed, blinking sort o' place.
    • She had no fear of the shadows; her sole idea seemed to be to shun mankind - or rather that cold accretion called the world, which, so terrible in the mass, is so unformidable, even pitiable, in its units.
    • So the baby was carried in a small deal box, under an ancient woman's shawl, to the churchyard that night, and buried by lantern-light, at the cost of a shilling and a pint of beer to the sexton, in that shabby corner of God's allotment where He lets the nettles grow, and where all unbaptized infants, notorious drunkards, suicides, and others of the conjecturally damned are laid.
    • Considering his position he became wonderfully free from the chronic melancholy which is taking hold of the civilized races with the decline of belief in a beneficent Power.
    • Moreover she, and Clare also, stood as yet on the debatable land between predilection and love; where no profundities have been reached; no reflections have set in, awkwardly inquiring, 'Whither does this new current tend to carry me? What does it mean to my future? How does it stand towards my past?'
    • Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
    • 'Justice' was done, and the President of the Immortals (in Aeschylean phrase) had ended his sport with Tess. And the d'Urberville knights and dames slept on in their tombs unknowing. The two speechless gazers bent themselves down to the earth, as if in prayer, and remained thus a long time, absolutely motionless: the flag continued to wave silently. As soon as they had strength, they arose, joined hands again, and went on.
    • But nobody did come, because nobody does; and under the crushing recognition of his gigantic error Jude continued to wish himself out of the world.
    • Their lives were ruined, he thought; ruined by the fundamental error of their matrimonial union: that of having based a permanent contract on a temporary feeling which had no necessary connection with affinities that alone render a lifelong comradeship tolerable.
    • Sometimes a woman's love of being loved gets the better of her conscience, and though she is agonized at the thought of treating a man cruelly, she encourages him to love her while she doesn't love him at all. Then, when she sees him suffering, her remorse sets in, and she does what she can to repair the wrong.
    • Done because we are too menny.
    • Do not do an immoral thing for moral reasons!
    • What of the Immanent Will and Its designs? It works unconsciously, as heretofore, Eternal artistries in Circumstance.
    • Why doth IT so and so, and ever so, This viewless, voiceless Turner of the Wheel?
    • A local cult, called Christianity.
    • Aggressive Fancy working spells Upon a mind o'erwrought.
    • Ere systemed suns were globed and lit The slaughters of the race were writ.
    • My argument is that War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.
    • The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.
    • thomas hardy

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