Quotation by Thomas Gray

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Thomas Gray (1716–1771), British poet. repr. In Poetical Works, ed. J. Rogers (1953). Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, st. 19 (1751).

referring to the village dead. Thomas Hardy took the title of his 1874 novel, Far from the Madding Crowd, from this stanza—"madding" here has the sense "becoming mad, acting madly, frenzied" (O.E.D.), rather than "maddening."
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