On "Overheard by blog" Robert Fraser is asking people what they consider to be the most beautiful line in English literature. Most people probably know that I know little of English literature so picking a line isn't easy. I think the opening line of "Earthly Powers" is awesome and grips the reader. "It is a far, far better thing that I do now" is stirring and resonates with selflessness while "And so, dear reader, I married him" is a wonderful finish. But what do I know? But I do know a few passages and poems which make the hairs on the back of my neck tingle. "Do not go gentle into that good night", a son pleading with his father not to die but to fight death, is so poignant. Also about death and grieving - Auden's "Stop all the clocks" is beautifully simple.
But for power and majesty and to see a master using the tools of his trade I think it's back to Bill.
From The Scottish Play
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor playerOr how about.........
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,
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,From Richard II.
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,—
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.
Dive over to Robert's blog and give it a go!