He had a fear of the dead, and of all inanimate things, rising up around
himto claim him; it isthe fearof thepre- eminently solitary
child and solitary man. Peter Ackroyd Of Charles Dickens. Dickens, prologue.
Here's tae us; wha's like us? Gey few, and
they're a'deid. Anonymous c Scottish toast of uncertain origin.'Damn'and other variations are
sometimes substituted for 'gey'.
Culture is dead, now let us start creating. Anonymous Graffito by Parisian students on the School of
Architecture walls, May.
The President is a walking dead man. He just doesn't know it yet. Anonymous Senior legislator on President Clinton's political
future as he entered the
second half of his term of office. In Nightline, ABC T V broadcast,
Wandering between two worlds, one dead, The other powerless
to be born, With nowhere yet to
rest my head, Like these, on earth
I wait forlorn. Matthew Arnold Poems: Second Series,'Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse',
WemetDr Hall insuchverydeep mourning that either his mother, his
wife, or himself must be dead. Jane Austen Letter to Cassandra Austen,17 May.
'Yestreen I dreamed a dolefu'dream; I ken'd here wad be
sorrow! I dreamed I pu'd
the heather green, On the dowie banks
o' Yarrow.' She gaed up yon
high, high hill I wat she gaed
wi'sorrow An' in the den
spied nine dead men, On the dowie houms
o' Yarrow. Ballads 'The Dowie Houms o'
Every time a child says'I don't believe in fairies'there is a little fairy
somewhere that falls down dead. SirJ(ames) M(atthew) Barrie Peter Pan (published1928), act1.
When I am dead, I hope it may be said, 'His sins were
scarlet, but his books were read.' (Joseph) Hilaire Pierre Belloc 'On His Books'.
As a rule Corde avoided cemeteries and never went near thegravesof
hisparents.Hesaidit wasjustaseasy for your dead tovisit you,
only by now he would haveto hire a hall. Saul Bellow The Dean's December, ch.15.
What I like about Clive Is that he is no
longer alive. There is a great
deal to be said For being dead. Edmund Clerihew Bentley Biography for Beginners,'Clive'.
Oh! Chintzy, chintzy cheeriness, Half dead and half
alive. SirJohn Betjeman 'Death in Leamington', first published in the
And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he and all his
servants, and all the
Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there wasnot a
house wherethere wasnot one dead. Bible (Old Testament) Exodus12:30.
And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send
them out of the land in haste; for they said,We be all dead
men. Bible (Old Testament) Exodus12:33.
And Samson said,Let me die with the Philistines. And
he bowed himself with
all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and
upon all the people that were therein. So the
dead which he slewat his death were more than they
which he slew in his life. Bible (Old Testament) Judges16:30.
Wherefore I praise the dead which are already dead more than the
living which are yet alive. Bible (Old Testament) Ecclesiastes 4:2.
For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog
isbetter thana dead lion.For the living know that they shall
die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they
any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Bible (Old Testament) Ecclesiastes 9:4^5.
But Jesussaid untohim,Followme; and letthe dead bury
their dead. Bible (NewTestament) St Matthew 8:22.
Heal the sick, cleansethe lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye
have received, freely give. Bible (NewTestament) St Matthew10:8.
Jesus answered and said unto them,Go and shew John again those things
which ye do hear and see:The blind receive their
sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the
deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel
preached to them. Bible (NewTestament) St Matthew11:4^5.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother
was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Bible (NewTestament) St Luke15:32.
And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces
to the earth, they
said unto them,Why seek ye the living among the dead? He
is not here, but is risen: remember St Luke how he spake unto you when he was yet in
Galilee. Bible (NewTestament) St Luke 24:5^6.
I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were
dead, yet shall he live. Bible (NewTestament) St John11:25.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live
any longer therein? Bible (NewTestament) Romans 6:1^2.
Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no
more dominion over him. Bible (NewTestament) Romans 6:9.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of
them that slept. For since by man
came death, by man came also the resurrection of the
dead. For as in Adam all
die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Bible (NewTestament) Corinthians15:20^2.
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be
changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of aneye,
atthelasttrump: for thetrumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed. Bible (NewTestament) Corinthians15:51^2.
Faith without works is dead. Bible (NewTestament) James 2:20.
And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man,
clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt
about the paps with golden girdle. His head and his
hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of
fire; And his feet like
unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his
voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his
right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp
two-edged sword: and his countenance was as
the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him,
I fell as his feet as dead. Bible (NewTestament) Revelation1:13^17.
am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen;
and have the keys of hell and of death. Bible (NewTestament) Revelation1:18.
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:Yea,
saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and
their works do follow them. Bible (NewTestament) Revelation14:13.
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the
earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found
no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and
great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and
another book was opened, which is the book of life:
and the dead were judged out of those things which were
written in the books, according to their works. And
thesea gave up the dead whichwere in it; and death and
hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they
were judged every man according to their works. And
deathand hell were cast intothelake of fire. Bible (NewTestament) Revelation 20:11^14.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, England mourns for
her dead across the sea. Flesh of her flesh
they were, spirit of her spirit, Fallen in the cause
of the free. (Robert) Laurence Binyon 'For the Fallen', in The Times, 21 Sep.
Best bloody place is bloody bed, With bloody ice on
bloody head, You might as well
be bloody dead, In bloody Orkney. Hamish pseudonym of Andrew James Fraser Blair Blair 'The Bloody Orkneys', last stanza. First published
in Arnold Silcock
Verse and Worse,'Queer People'.
And night this toppling reed, still as the dead The great pike
lies, the murderous patriarch, Watching the
water-pit shelving and dark Where through the
plash his lithe bright vassals tread. Edmund Charles Blunden 'The Pike'.
believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth: And in
Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived
by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead,
and buried: He descended into hell;The third day he rose
again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth
on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From
thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I
believe in the Holy Ghost;The holy Catholick
Church;The Communion of Saints;The Forgiveness of
sins;The Resurrection of the body, And the life
everlasting. Amen. Book of Common Prayer Morning Prayer,
We therefore commit his body to the deep, to be turned into corruption,
looking for theresurrection of the body, (when the Sea shall
give up her dead). Book of Common Prayer Forms of Prayer to
be Used at Sea, At the Burial of their Dead at Sea.
Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead! There's none of
these so lonely and poor of old, But, dying, has
made us rarer gifts than gold. Rupert Chawner Brooke 'The Dead'.
The world was beforethecreationand at anend beforeit had a beginning;
and thus was I dead before I was alive. Though my grave be
England, my dying place was Paradise, and Eve
miscarried of me before she conceived of Cain. SirThomas Browne ^5 Religio Medici (published1643), pt.1, section 59.
Can we not force from widowed poetry, Now thou art dead,
great Donne, one elegy To crown thy
hearse? Thomas Carew 'An Elegy upon the Death of the Dean of Paul's,
Dr. John Donne'.
How true it is, that there isnothing dead inthis
Universe; that what we call
dead is only changed, its forces working in inverse
order! 'The leaf that lies rotting in moist winds,'says
one,'has still force; else how could it rot?' Thomas Carlyle History of the French Revolution, vol.2, bk.3,
The dead might as well speak to the living as the old to the young. Willa Sibert Cather One of Ours, bk.2, ch.6.
Some people are better off deadlike your wife and my father for
instance. Raymond Chandler Line delivered by Robert Walker as Bruno in the
film Strangers on a
Train (with Czenzi Ormonde), based on the novel by Patricia
dead man is the best fall guy in the world. He never talks back. Raymond Chandler The Long Good-Bye, ch.10.
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our
ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. G(ilbert) K(eith) Chesterton Orthodoxy, ch.4.
La seule diffe rence incontestable n'est pas celle des sexes ou des a" ges
ou des forces, mais celle des vifs et des morts. The only
incontestable difference isnot that of sexorage or strength, but
that of the living and the dead. He le' ne Cixous Dedans.
Quand je n'e cris pas, c'est comme si j'e tais morte. When I do not
write, it's as though I'm dead. He le' ne Cixous Quoted in
Jean-Louis Rambures Comment travaillent les e crivains
Is he then dead? What, dead at last,
quite, quite for ever dead! William Congreve Almeria to Leonora. The Mourning Bride, act 5,
The people's flag is deepest red; It shrouded oft our
martyred dead. And ere their limbs
grew stiff and cold, Their heart's blood
dyed its every fold. Then raise the
scarlet standard high! Within its shade
we'll live or die. Tho'cowards flinch
and traitors sneer, We'll keep the red
flag flying here. James Connell 'The Red Flag', official anthem of the Labour
If I were a Mexican, I would tell you,'Have you not enough room in your
own country to bury your dead men? If you come
into mine, we will greet you with bloody hands and
hospitable graves.' Thomas Corwin Speech to the Senate against the American^Mexican War,11 Feb.
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead, They brought bitter
news to hear, and bitter tears to shed. I wept as I
remembered how often you and I Had tired
thesunwithtalking and sent himdownthesky. William originally WilliamJohnson Cory Ionica, Poems,'Heraclitus', his translationof an
epigram by Callimachus.
There's sand in the porridge and sand in the bed, And if this is
pleasure we'd rather be dead. Sir Noe« l Peirce Coward 'The English Lido' (song).
With awe, around these silent walks I tread; These are the
lasting mansions of the dead. George Crabbe The Library (published1808), l.105^6.
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut- iful than these
heroic happy dead who rushed like
lions to the roaring slaughter they did not stop
to think they died instead then shall the
voices of liberty be mute? He spoke. And drank
rapidly a glass of water. e e pen name of Edward Estlin Cummings cummings is 5,'Two, III'.
saw corpses, and grew used to their unimportant look, for a dead man
without any of the panoply of death is a desperately
insignificant object. Robertson Davies Of World War I. Fifth Business, pt.2, ch.1.
Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall: Sure we never won a
battle'twas Owen won them all. Had he lived, had
he lived, our dear country had been free; But he's dead, but
he's dead, and 'tis slaves we'll ever be. Thomas Osborne Davis 'Lament for the Death of Owen Roe O'Neil'.
However many ways there may be of being alive, it is certain that there
are vastly more ways of being dead. Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker, ch.1.
If I were a writer, how I would enjoy being told the novel is dead.How
liberating to work in the margins, outside a central
perception.Youaretheghoul of literature.Lovely. Don DeLillo Owen Brademas. The Names, ch.4.
The dead have come to take the living. The dead in winding-sheets,
theregimenteddead onhorseback, the skeleton that plays
a hurdy-gurdy. Don DeLillo Underworld.
What a finething capital punishment is! Dead
mennever repent; dead men
never bring awkward stories to light. Ah, it's a
finething for thetrade! Five of 'emstrung up ina row; and none left to play booty, or turn
white-livered! CharlesJohn Huffam Dickens ^9 Fagin. Oliver Twist, ch.9.
Dead, your Majesty. Dead, my lords and gentlemen. Dead,Right
Reverends and Wrong Reverends of every order. Dead, men
and women, born with Heavenly compassion in your
hearts. And dying thus around us every day. CharlesJohn Huffam Dickens ^3 On the death of Jo. Bleak House, ch.47.
Come up and be dead! Come up and be dead! CharlesJohn Huffam Dickens ^5 Jenny Wren. Our Mutual Friend, bk.2, ch.5.
word is dead When it is said, Some say. I say it just Begins to live That day. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson ?1872 Complete Poems, no.1212 (first published1894).
The distance that the dead have gone Does not at first
appear Their coming back
seems possible For manyan ardent
year. Emily Elizabeth Dickinson Complete Poems,
no.1742 (first published1896).
am dead: dead, but in the Elysian fields. Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield Disraeli On his elevation to the House of Lords.
Fame is a food that dead men eat, I have no stomach
for such meat. (Henry) Austin Dobson 'Fame is a Fool'.
The ideal board of directors should be made up of three mentwo dead and
the other dying. Tommy (Thomas Henderson) Docherty Quoted in Colin Jarman The Guinness Dictionary of
Sports Quotations (1990).
more than moon, Draw not up seas to
drown me in thy sphere, Weep me not dead,
in thine arms, but forbear To teach the sea
what it may do too soon. John Donne c.1595^1605 'A Valediction: Of Weeping', collected in Songs
and Sonnets (1633).
She, she is dead; she's dead; when thou know'st this, Thou know'st how
dry a cinder this world is. John Donne 'An Anatomy of the World: The First Anniversary'.
Remember me when I am dead and simplify me
when I'm dead. Gavin Douglas 'Simplify Me When I'm Dead'.
Sen for the deid remeid is none, Best is that we for
dede dispone Eftir our deid that
lif may we: Timor mortis
conturbat me. Alexandre, pe' re Dumas c.1505 'Lament for the Makaris', stanza 25.
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the
power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion
is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand
rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is
impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself
as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty,
which ourdull faculties can comprehend only in their most
primitive formsthis knowledge, this feeling, isatthe
centerof true religiousness.In thissense, and in this sense
only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men. Albert Einstein Quoted in Philipp
Frank Einstein: HisLife and Times (1947), ch.12, section 5.
The dead level of provincial existence. George pseudonym of MaryAnn Evans Eliot The Mill on the Floss, bk.5, ch.3.
He who was living is now dead We who were living
are now dying With a little
patience. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot The Waste Land, pt.5,'What the Thunder Said'.
This is the dead land This is cactus land
Here the stone
images Are raised, here
they receive The supplication of
a dead man's hand Under the twinkle
of a fading star. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot 'The Hollow Men'.
A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time
of the year For a journey, and
such a long journey: The ways deep and
the weather sharp, The very dead of
winter. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot 'The Journey of the Magi'.
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older The world becomes
stranger, the pattern more complicated Of dead and living.
T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Four Quartets,'East Coker', pt.5.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living, They can tell you,
being dead: the communication Of the dead is
tongued with fire beyond the language of the living. T(homas) S(tearns) Eliot Four Quartets,'Little Gidding', pt.1.
Wider comprehensions, deeper insights to the dead belong: Since for Love thou
wakest not, sleeper, yet awake for sake of Song! Sir Samuel Ferguson c.1864 'The Tain-Quest'.
And I'm afraid, reading this passage now, That everything I
knew has been destroyed By those whom I
admired but never knew; The laughing
soldiers fought to their defeat And I'm afraid most
of my friends are dead. James Fenton 'In a Notebook'.
Dead men are serious. 50 Cent originally CurtisJackson The Wars, pt.1, section 20.
The historian must have a third quality as well: some conception of how
men who are not historians behave. Otherwise he will
move in a world of the dead. E(dward) M(organ) Forster Abinger Harvest,'Captain Edward Gibbon'.
They listened at his heart. Littlelessnothing!and
that ended it. No more to build on
there. And they, since they Were not the one
dead, turned to their affairs. Robert Lee Frost 'Out, Out'.
No matter how vital experiencemight be whileyou lived it, no sooner was
it ended and dead than it became as lifeless as the
piles of dry dust in a school history book. Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow In This Our Life, pt.3, ch.9.
The doctor found, when she was dead, Her last disorder
mortal. Oliver Goldsmith 'Elegy on Mrs Mary Blaize'.
The only reason so many people showed up at his funeral was because
they wanted to make sure he was dead. Sam(uel) originally Schmuel Gelbfisz Goldwyn Of Louis B Mayer.
The concert is dead. Glenn Gould Quoted in Richard
Kostelanetz Master Minds (1969).
To bring the dead to life Is no great magic. Feware wholly dead:
Blow on a dead
man's embers And a live flame
will start. Robert von Ranke Graves 'To Bring the Dead to Life'.
Nine-tenths of English poetic literature is the result either of vulgar
careerism, or of a poet trying to keep his hand in. Most poets
are dead by their late twenties. Robert von Ranke Graves In the Observer,11 Nov.
Mindful of the unhonoured dead. Thomas Gray Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, l.93.
The Dead Heart of Australia. JohnWalter Gregory Title of book, dealing with the centraldeserts of
And life is colour and warmth and light And a striving
evermore for these; And he is dead, who
will not fight; And who dies
fighting has increase. Julian Henry Francis Grenfell 'Into Battle', in The Times, 27 May.
If my life were like hers,I'd rather be dead.Come to think of it, if my life
were like mine, I'd rather be dead. (Robert) Ian Hamilton Quoted by Al
Alvarez in D Harsent (ed) Another Road at the Pillars: Essays,
Poems and Reflections on Ian Hamilton (1972).
That part of hisspeech wasrather like being savaged
bya dead sheep. Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey Responding to a speechby Chancellor of the
Exchequer Sir Geoffrey Howe,
House of Commons, Jun.
The boy stood on the burning deck Whence all but he
had fled; The flame that lit
the battle's wreck Shone round him
o'er the dead. Felicia ne e Browne Hemans 'Casabianca'.
Se ha hecho para los vivos y no para los muertos el porque
metaf|sico y las reflexiones sobre la vida y la muerte, pero no les
hace falta aclarar todo el misterio, les hace falta
distraerse y son ar en aclararlo. Metaphysical
questions and reflections on lifeand death were created for
people alive and not for the dead. However, they do
not have to solve all mystery; it is enough for them to
create some distraction and to dream that they
clarify. Felisberto Herna n dez Libro sin tapas,'La piedra filosofal' ('The
The public doesn't want new music: the main thing it demands of a
composer is that he be dead. Arthur Honegger I Am a Composer.
These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when
earth's foundations fled, Followed their
mercenary calling And took their
wages and are dead. A(lfred) E(dward) Housman Last Poems, no.37,'Epitaph on an Army of
wise nation preserves its records, gathers up its muniments,
decorates the tombs of its illustrious dead, repairs its great
public structures, and fosters national pride and love of
country, by perpetual references to the sacrifices and
glories of the past. Joseph Howe
Mr President, I speak for sixty thousand dead! William Morris Hughes Reply to Woodrow Wilson at the Versailles Peace Conference, Jan,
referring to the ANZ AC fatalities in World War I. Wilson had asked
'Mr Hughes, I speak for very many millions of people. For whom
do you speak?'.
To love is to be a fish. My boat wallows in
the sea. You who are free, rescue the dead. David Ignatow Rescue the Dead,'Rescue the Dead'.
His soul swooned slowlyas he heard the snow falling faintly through the
universe and faintly falling, like the descentoftheir
lastend, uponall theliving and the dead. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce Dubliners,'The Dead'.
Over my dead body. George S(imon) Kaufman Suggestion for his
own epitaph. Attributed.
The grandeur of the dooms We have imagined for
the mighty dead. John Keats Endymion, bk.1, l.20^1.
The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run, we
are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too
useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell
us that when the storm is long past the ocean is flat again.
John Maynard, 1st Baron Keynes (of Tilton) A Tract on Monetary Reform.
For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play, The regiment's in
'ollow squarethey're hangin' himto- day; They've taken of his
buttons off an'cut his stripes away, An'they're hangin'
Danny Deever in the mornin'. (Joseph) Rudyard Kipling 'Danny Deever'.
We have fed our sea for a thousand years And she calls us,
still unfed, Though there's
never a wave of all her waves But marks our
English dead. (Joseph) Rudyard Kipling 'A Song of the Dead'.
Painters of history make the dead live, and do not begin to
livethemselvestill theyare dead.Ipaint the living, and they make me live! Godfrey Kneller When asked why he
preferred portraits to more prestigious history scenes.
Quoted in A Cunningham The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters,
Sculptors and Architects (1829).
The dead don't die. They look on and help. D(avid) H(erbert) Lawrence Letter to J Middleton Murry, 2 Feb, on the death
Our American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and
very dead. (Harry) Sinclair Lewis Nobel prize address,12 Dec.
Four score and sevenyears ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent
a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equalwe
here highly resolve that the dead shall not have died
in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new
birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by
the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the
earth. 510 Abraham Lincoln Dedication address, Gettysburg NationalCemetery,19
An'see the deid come loupin'owre The auld grey wa's.
Grieve Sangschaw,'Crowdieknowe', stanza1.
Mura tig's ann thea' nas ni a Hallaig a dh' ionnsaigh sa'
baid nam marbh, far a bheil an
sluagh a' tathaich, gach aon ghinealach
a dh' fhalbh. If it does not, I
will go down to Hallaig, to the Sabbath of
the dead, where the people
are frequenting, every single
generation gone. Sorley Gaelic name Somhairle MacGill-Eain MacLean 'Hallaig'.
Tradition does not mean that the living are dead; it means that the dead
are living. Stockton In the Manchester Guardian,18 Dec.
The dark was talking to the dead; The lamp was dark
beside my bed. (Frederick) Louis MacNeice Plant and Phantom,'Autobiography', l.13^14.
The Naked and the Dead. Norman Kingsley Mailer Title of novel.
Either he's dead or my watch has stopped. Groucho originally Julius Henry Marx Marx Line delivered in A Day at the Races (screenplay
by George Seaton, Robert
Pirosh and George Oppenheimer).
When I am
dead and opened, you shall find 'Calais' lying in my heart. MaryTudor also known as Mary I Quoted in Holinshed
Chronicles (1808), vol.4.
Yet once more,O ye laurels, and once more Ye myrtles brown,
with ivy never-sere I come to pluck
your berries harsh and crude, And with forc'd
fingers rude, Shatter your leaves
before the mellowing year. Bitter constraint,
and sad occasion dear, Compels me to
disturb your season due For Lycidas is dead,
dead ere his prime Young Lycidas, and
hath not left his peer. John Milton Lycidas, opening lines.
loss of sight, of thee I most complain! Blind among
enemies,O worse than chains, Dungeon, or
beggary, or decrepit age! Light the prime
work of God to me is extinct, And all her various
objects of delight Annull'd, which
might in part my grief have eas'd, Inferior to the
vilest now become Of man or worm; the
vilest here excel me, They creep, yet
see, I dark in light expos'd To daily fraud,
contempt, abuse and wrong, 586 Within doors, or
without, still as a fool, In power of others,
never in my own; Scarce half I seem
to live, dead more than half. John Milton Samson Agonistes, l.67^79.
To live a life half dead, a living death. John Milton Samson Agonistes, l.100.
An aristocracy in a republic is like a chicken whose head has been cut off:
it may run about in a lively way, but in fact it is dead. Nancy Freeman Mitford Noblesse Oblige.
It's better to be dead, or even perfectly well, than to suffer from the
wrong affliction. The man who owns up to arthritis in a
beri-beri year is as lonely as a woman in a last month's dress.
(Frederic) Ogden Nash 'How'sYour Sacro-iliac?', in the Saturday Evening
Post, 14 Oct.
Qualis artifex pereo! Dead! And so great
an artist! Nero Attributed words on
the point of taking his life. Quoted in Suetonius Nero, 49.1
(translated by Robert Graves,1957).
Mr President, the president is dead. Clifford Odets To Lyndon B Johnson after the assassination of
John F Kennedy, 22 Nov.
Reminds me of nothing so much as a recently-dead
fish before it has had
time to stiffen. George pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair Orwell Of Clement Attlee. Diary entry,19 May.
Red lips are not so red As the stained
stones kissed by the English dead. Wilfred Owen 'Greater Love'.
And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, By his dead smile I
knew we stood in Hell. Wilfred Owen 'Strange Meeting', collected in Poems
She is older thantherocks among whichshesits;
likethe vampire, shehas
beendead many times, and learned the secrets of the
grave. Walter Pater Of the Mona Lisa.'Leonardo daVinci' in Studies in
the History of the Renaissance.
The people die so, that now it seems theyare fain to carry the dead to
be buried by daylight, the nights not sufficing to do it
in. And my Lord Mayor commands people to be within
at 9 at night, all (as they say) that the sick may have
liberty to go abroad for ayre. Samuel Pepys Diary entry,12 Aug.
The little cousin is dead, by foul subtraction, A green bough
fromVirginia's aged tree. John Crowe Ransom Chills and Fever,'Dead Boy'.
There may be dead ground in between; and I may not have got The knack of
judging a distance; I will only venture A guess that
perhaps between me and the apparent lovers, (Who, incidentally,
appear by now to have finished,) At seven o'clock from the
houses, is roughly a distance Of about one year
and a half. Henry Reed Lessons of theWar, pt.2,'Judging Distances'.
All wars are useless to the dead. Adrienne Cecile Rich Leaflets,'Implosions'.
Und dasTotsein ist mu« hsam und voller Nachholn, dass man allm a«
hlich ein wenig Ewigkeit spu« rt. And being dead is
hard work and full of
retrieval before one can gradually feel a trace of
eternity. Rainer Maria Rilke Duinieser Elegien, no.1 (translated by Stephen
Mitchell in The Selected Poetry
of Rainer Maria Rilke,1989).
shall have more to say when I am dead. Edwin Arlington Robinson TheThreeTaverns,'John Brown'.
Below him, in the town among the trees, Where friends of
other days had honored him, A phantom
salutation of the dead Rang thinly till
old Eben's eyes were dim. Edwin Arlington Robinson Avon's Harvest,'Mr Flood's Party'.
When I am dead, my dearest, Sing no sad songs
for me; Plant thou no roses
at my head, Nor shady cypress
tree: Be the green grass
above me With showers and
dewdrops wet; And if thou wilt,
remember, And if thou wilt,
forget. Christina Georgina Rossetti Goblin Market and Other Poems,'When I Am dead'.
And when war is done and youth stone dead I'd toddle safely home and diein bed. Siegfried Louvain Sassoon 'Base Details'.
'Good-morning; good-morning!'the General said When we met him
last weekon our way to the line. Now the soldiers he
smiled at are most of 'em dead, And we're cursing
his staff for incompetent swine. 'He's a cheery old
card,'grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up
to Arras with rifle and pack. But he did for them
both by his plan of attack. Siegfried Louvain Sassoon 'The General'.
You are too young to fall asleep for ever; And when you sleep
you remind me of the dead. Siegfried Louvain Sassoon 'The Dug-Out'.
Who will remember, passing through this Gate, The unheroic Dead
who fed the guns? Who shall absolve
the foulness of their fate, Those doomed,
conscripted, unvictorious ones? Siegfried Louvain Sassoon The Heart'sJourney, pt.21,'On Passing the New Menin
Here Vaughan lies dead, whose name flows on for ever Through pastures of
the spirit washed with dew And starlit with
eternities unknown. Siegfried Louvain Sassoon The Heart'sJourney, pt.23,'At the Grave of
wouldn't believe that Hitler was dead, even if he told me himself. Hjalmar Horace Greely Schacht Attributed remark, 8 May.
And said I that my limbs were old, And said I that my
blood was cold, And that my kindly
fire was fled, And my poor
withered heart was dead, And that I might
not sing of Love? Sir Walter Scott The Lay of the Last Minstrel, canto1, stanza1.
Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself
hath said, This is my own, my
native land! Whose heart hath
ne'er within him burned, As home his
footsteps he hath turned From wandering on a
foreign strand! Sir Walter Scott The Lay of the Last Minstrel, canto 6, stanza1.
To begin with, I was born with an unreasonably large stock of relations,
who have increased and multiplied ever since. My
aunts and uncles were legion, and my cousins as the
sands of the sea without number. Consequently, even
a low death-rate meant, in the course of mere
natural decay, a tolerably steady supply of funerals for a
by no means affectionate but exceedingly clannish
family to go to. Add to this that the town we lived in,
being divided in religious opinion, buried its dead in
two great cemeteries, each of which was held by the
opposite faction to be the ante- chamber of
perdition, and by its own patrons to be the gate of paradise. George Bernard Shaw 'Music in London'.
While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped Through many a
listening chamber, cave and ruin, And starlight wood,
with fearful steps pursuing Hopes of high talks
with the departed dead. Percy Bysshe Shelley 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty'.
weep for Adonaishe is dead! O, weep for
Adonais! though our tears Thaw not the frost
which binds so dear a head! Percy Bysshe Shelley Adonais, stanza1.
He wakes or sleeps with the enduring dead; Thou canst not soar
where he is sitting now Dust to the dust!
but the pure spirit shall flow Back to the burning
fountain whence it came, A portion of the
Eternal. Percy Bysshe Shelley Adonais, stanza 38.
He lives, he wakes,'tis Death is dead, not he. Percy Bysshe Shelley Adonais, stanza 41.
The beaten road Which those poor
slaves with weary footsteps tread, Who travel to their
home among the dead By the broad
highway of the world, and so With one chained
friend, perhaps a jealous foe, The dreariest and
the longest journey go. Percy Bysshe Shelley 'Epipsychidion', l.154^9.
Death will come when thou art dead, Soon, too soon Sleep will come
when thou art fled; Of neither would I
ask the boon I ask of thee,
belove' d Night Swift be thine
approaching flight, Come soon, soon! Percy Bysshe Shelley 'To Night'.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian. Philip Henry Sheridan Attributed comment at Fort Cobb, Jan.
Time that is moved by little fidget wheels Is not myTime, the
flood that does not flow. Between the double
and the single bell Of a ship's hour,
between a round of bells From the dark
warship riding there below, I have lived many
lives, and this one life Of Joe, long dead,
who lives between five bells. Adam Skirving Five Bells, title poem.The poem was written as an
elegy for Joe Lynch, a friend
who fell overboard from a Sydney ferry.
And she, being old, fed from a mashed plate as an old mare
might droop across a fence to the dull
pastures of her ignorance. Her husband held
her upright while he prayed to God who is
all-forgiving to send down some angel
somewhere who might land perhaps in his foreign
wings among the gradual crops. She munched, half
dead, blindly searching the spoon. A'Ghobhainn Thistles and Roses,'OldWoman', stanzas1^2.
Private Means is dead God rest his soul,
officers and fellow-rankers said. Stevie (Florence Margaret) Smith Selected Poems,'Private Means is Dead'.
Oh, no, no, no, it was too cold always (Still the dead one lay moaning) I was much too far
out all my life And not waving but
drowning. Stevie (Florence Margaret) Smith NotWaving but Drowning,'NotWaving but Drowning'.
thousand years the Sierras Will be dryand
dead, home of the scorpion. Ice-scratched slabs
and bent trees. No paradise, no
fall, Only the weathering
land The wheeling sky, Man, with his Satan
Scouring the chaos
of the mind. Oh Hell! Gary Sherman Snyder Riprap,'Milton By Firelight (Piute Creek,
For us in Russia, communism is a dead dog, while, for many people in the
West, it is still a living lion. Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn In the Listener,15 Feb.
Every known class of refusal was successfully exhibited. Onehorse
endeavoured to climbtherailsintothe Grand Stand; another,
having stoppeddeadatthecritical point, swung round, and
returned in consternation to the starting-point,
with hisrider hanging likea locket around his neck. Another,
dowered with a sense of humour Martin Ross Nicaraguan dictator, educated in the US.
As Chief of the National Guard he established
himself in supreme power in the early 1930s, and retained it
until assassinated, when the rule passed to his sons.
When you see millions of the mouthless dead Across your dreams
in pale battalions go, Say not soft things
as other men have said, That you'll
remember. For you need not so. Give them not
praise. For, deaf, how should they know It is not curses
heaped on each gashed head? Charles Hamilton Sorley Marlborough and
Other Poems,'A Sonnet' (published1916).
But reading is not idlenessit is the passive, receptive side of
civilization without which the active and creative world would be
meaningless. It is the immortal spirit of the dead realised
within the bodies of the living. It is sacramental. Sir Stephen Harold Spender Journal entry, 4 Jan.
Where is the antique glory now become, What whilom wont in
women to appear? Where be the brave
achievements doen by some? Where be the
battles, where the shield and spear, And all the
conquests, which them high did rear, That matter made
for famous poet's verse, And boastful men so oft abashed to hear? Bene theyall dead,
and laid in doleful hearse? Or doen they only
sleep, and shall again reverse? Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queen, bk.3, canto 4, stanza1.
The true call of the desert, of the mountains, or the sea, is their
silencefree of the networks of dead speech. Dame Freya Madeleine Stark Perseus in theWind.
Not bad. Most people myage are dead.You could look it up. Casey (Charles Dillon) Stengel Attributed, when
asked how he was.'You could look it up' was one of his
It is better to be a fool than to be dead. Robert Louis Stevenson Virginibus Puerisque,'Crabbed Age andYouth'.
Though these that were Gods are dead, and thou being dead art God, Though before thee
the throned Cytherean be fallen, and hidden her
head, Yet thy kingdom
shall pass,Galilean, thy dead shall go down to thee dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne Poems and Ballads,'Hymn to Proserpine'.
The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for
several weeks before we came to understand the
gravity of our situation. Donna Tartt The Secret History.
desolation in the plot Of a thousand
acres, where these memories grow From the
inexhaustible bodies that are not Dead, but feed the
grass, row after rich row. (John Orley) Allen Tate Poems1922^1947,'Ode to the Confederate Dead'.
Home they brought her warrior dead. She nor swooned,
nor uttered cry: All her maidens,
watching said, 'She must weep or
she will die.' Tennyson The Princess, pt.6, added song, stanza1.
Come not, when I am dead, To drop thy foolish
tears upon my grave, To trample round my
fallen head, And vex the unhappy
dust thou wouldst not save. There let the wind
sweep and the plover cry; But thou, go by. Child, if it were
thine error or thy crime I care no longer,
being all unblest; Wed whom thou wilt,
but I am sick of Time, And I desire to
rest. Pass on, weak
heart, and leave me where I lie: Go by, go by. Tennyson 'Come not, when I am dead', complete poem.
Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, Dead perfection, no
more. Tennyson Maud, pt.1, sect.2, l.82^3.
There has fallen a splendid tear From the
passion-flower at the gate. She is coming, my
dove, my dear; She is coming, my
life, my fate; The red rose
cries,'She is near, she is near;' And the white rose
weeps,'She is late;' The larkspur
listens,'I hear, I hear;' And the lily whispers,'I
wait.' She is coming, my
own, my sweet; Were it ever so
airya tread, My heart would hear
her and beat, Were it earth in an
earthy bed; My dust would hear
her and beat; Had I lain for a
century dead; Would start and
tremble under her feet, And blossom in
purple and red. Tennyson Maud, pt.1, sect.22, stanzas10^11, l. 908^23.
Dead, long dead, Long dead! And my heart is a
handful of dust, And the wheels go
over my head. Tennyson Maud, pt.2, sect.5, stanza1, l.239^42.
Of happy men that have the power to die, And grassy barrows
of the happier dead. Tennyson 'Tithonus' (revised1864),1.70^1.
The voice of the dead was a living voice to me. Tennyson 'In theValley of Cauteretz', l.10.
The soul of man is a far country, which cannot be approached or
explored. Most of the dead were poor and illiterate.But
every single one of them had dreamed dreams, seen
visions and had amazing experiences, even the babes in
arms (perhaps especially the babes in arms). D(onald) M(itchell) Thomas TheWhite Hotel, ch.5.
The hand that signed the paper felled a city; Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath, Doubled the globe
of dead and halved a country; These five kings
did a king to death. Dylan Marlais Thomas 'The HandThat Signed the Paper Felled a City'.
The past is the only dead thing that smells sweet, The only sweet
thing that is not also fleet. (Philip) Edward Thomas 'Early One Morning'.
Now all the roads lead to France And heavy is the
tread Of the living: but
the dead Returning lightly
dance. (Philip) Edward Thomas 'Roads'.
There studious let me sit, And hold high
converse with the mighty dead. James pseudonym 'BV',ByssheVanolis Thomson The Seasons,'Winter', l.431^2.
Early to rise and early to bed makes a male healthyand wealthyand dead. James Grover Thurber 'The Shrike and the Chipmunks', in the NewYorker,18
On doit des e gards aux vivants; on ne doit aux morts que la ve rite . We should be
considerate to the living; to the dead we owe only the truth.
Voltaire pseudonym of Fran c° ois Marie Arouet 'Premi e' re Lettre
sur ¼dipe'. In ¼uvres, vol.1 (published1785).
News is what a chap who doesn't care much about anything wants to
read. And it's only news until he's read it. After that it's
dead. Evelyn Arthur StJohn Waugh Scoop, bk.1, ch.5.
O, that it were possible, We might but hold
some two days'conference With the dead! John Webster The Duchess of Malfi, act 4, sc.2.
When faith is lost, when honor dies, The man is dead! John Greenleaf Whittier 'Ichabod', stanza 8.
He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine
are red, And blood and wine
were on his hands When they found him
with the dead. Oscar Fingal O'FlahertieWills Wilde The Ballad of Reading Gaol, pt.1, stanza1.
Something was dead in each of us, And what was dead
was Hope. Oscar Fingal O'FlahertieWills Wilde The Ballad of Reading Gaol, pt.3, stanza 31.
A strange manner of battle, where one side works by constant motion and
ceaseless charges, while the other can but endure
passivelyas it standsfixed tothesod.The Norman arrow and
sword worked on: in the English ranks the only
movement was the dropping of the dead: the living stood
motionless. William of Poitiers 11c. c.1071 Of theBattle of Hastings,14 Oct1066. Gesta Guillelmi
ducis Normannorum et
regis Anglorum (edited by R Foreville,1952).
Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it
comes you'll know you're dead. TennesseeThomas Lanier Williams In the Observer, 26 Jan.
Romantic Ireland's dead and gone, It's with O'Leary
in the grave. W(illiam) B(utler) Yeats 'September1913', refrain. Collected in
A dead reigna strange epoch of folly and shame. EÅ mile Zola On the France of the Second Empire.
Quoted inJoanna Richardson LaVie
Parisienne (1971), p.276.