A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever Examples
The famous line of poetry, "a thing of beauty is a joy forever," comes from John Keats' "Endymion." It is the first line of the poem, and this phrase has become idiomatic, as it is part of our everyday language now.
Example of modern-day usage of the phrase:
While antiques can often be expensive, I like to purchase them because a true thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Keats' poem is named after the Greek myth of Endymion, who was a young, handsome shepherd. When allowed to choose his fate, Endymion chose to remain young and live forever. So, he was kept eternally young through eternal sleep on the side of the mountain where he tended his sheep. Keats' alludes to the lasting beauty that Endymion chose in his poem.
Here is an excerpt from the poem by 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-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:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.
Many have analyzed Keats' meaning to be related to the lasting impression that a beautiful experience makes on us. When we experience something beautiful, it remains with us as part of our memories. Today, we often use the phrase "a thing of beauty is a joy forever" in a more material sense to refer to what we consider to be beautiful objects.
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