“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Henry D. Thoreau
Always liked this quote, yet it’s actually a misquotation!
The first half of this quotation is a misquotation from Thoreau’s Walden:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats….”
The second half of this quotation is misattributed to Thoreau and may be a misquotation or misremembering of Oliver Wendell Holmes’ (1809-1894) “The Voiceless”:
Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them.