Thursday, September 07, 2006

Regency poetry

The Regency period - taking it as a period from about 1793 to 1820, instead of the narrower political period of 1811-1820 - was a wonderful one for the arts. As well as great writers such as Jane Austen, the era produced great poets. Here's a poem by Keats, which revels in the beauties of England whilst voicing a wish - shared by most English people when the weather's bad, I think - to see Italian skies. Ah, for a blue sky instead of a grey one! Although, to be honest, this morning it's sunny for the first time in weeks, and the sky is actually blue and white.

Happy is England! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent:
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;
Enough their simple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms in silence clinging:
Yet do I often warmly burn to see
Beauties of deeper glance, and hear their singing,
And float with them about the summer waters.

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