I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Beauty Is Truth

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms...

The opening lines of Endymion by JOHN KEATS (1795-1821)

4 comments:

Two yards of lard said...

Did you know that Keats was himself quite a walker. Aged 21 (I think)he walked from Lancaster through the Lakes, round to Dumfries and Galloway to visit places associated with Burns and then up through the Highlands to Inverness (by which time he was quite ill).

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes... not to mention Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Hazlitt, De Quincey et al. What an inspiration, those literary 18th-19th century walkers. I've mentioned this book before on my blog, but get hold of a copy of "Shanks's Pony: A Study Of Walking" by Morris Marples (long OP!) which is about all this and more.

Two yards of lard said...

Yes, I have a copy. I picked it up at a local second hand bookshop. Just the place to find great books that you never knew existed. Funnily enough, that's also where I found Richard Adams' 'A Nature Diary'.

I have a book called 'Walking North with Keats'. It's mainly photos taken along the route of Keats journey, but also has letters that Keats sent whilst walking, and an account written by his companion (whose name escapes me at present.)

The Solitary Walker said...

I'll look out for that book. It sounds interesting.