- The curse of Scottish literature is the lack of a whole language, which finally means the lack of a whole mind.
- Scott and Scotland (1936), Introduction.
- There is a road that turning always
Cuts off the country of Again.
Archers stand there on every side
And as it runs time's deer is slain
And lies where it has lain.
- "The Road", Journeys and Places (1937)
- The world's great day is growing late,
Yet strange these fields that we have planted
So long with crops of love and hate.
- One Foot in Eden (1972)
- Long time he lay upon the sunny hill,
To his father's house below securely bound.
- Childhood (1983)
- They do not live in the world,
Are not in time and space.
From birth to death hurled
No word do they have, not one
To plant a foot upon,
Were never in any place.
- The Animals (1983)
- I have observed in foolish awe
The dateless mid-days of the law
And seen indifferent justice done
By everyone on everyone.
- The Brothers (1983)