I was cleaning out my apartment tonight and came upon my copy of James Joyce's Dubliners. It's probably one of my favorite books. (FYI, my least least favorite is Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead.) Anyhow, here is the last passage from "The Dead", the last short story from Dubliners. The language is so beautiful -- it's genius, when I first read it, I was positively in ecstasy and I knew there was no way in hell I was ever going to write like Joyce, no matter how hard I try.
-- A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.