Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Thing Of Beauty (Endymion) by John Keats

This week, a poem by Keats himself. The first line of which is so famous as to be almost infamous, but I hope you enjoy it's old worldy-ness. It's quite different from what I've been writing lately, but I still do love the cadence only rhyme can give, even though it can be patchy. The moments are exquisite. I really like the end, from ...O may no wintry season, bare and hoary... And the end of the first verse is pretty amazing as well.
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Anyway, have a great week, look forward to seeing you all again next week, hopefully with a poem.


A Thing Of Beauty (Endymion) by John Keats

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-darkn'd 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:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast
That, whether there be shine or gloom o'ercast,
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimmed and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end!
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.
John Keats


  1. I think one of Keats' great gifts was for capturing nature. The following particularly struck a chord:

    "...and ere yet the bees
    Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas"

    I hope it shall not have to serve as the requiem for another species in our human rush to destruction.

  2. Thanks for posting this Alicia. I never really got past the first verse before but this time I read it with a new understanding. It must have been a very optimistic poem in the time it was written.