NCERT Textbook: Poem 4 - A Thing of Beauty Class 12 Notes | EduRev

English Class 12

Class 12 : NCERT Textbook: Poem 4 - A Thing of Beauty Class 12 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


98/Flamingo
A Thing of Beauty
About the poet
John Keats (1795-1821) was a British Romantic poet.
Although trained to be a surgeon, Keats decided to
devote himself wholly to poetry. Keats’ secret, his power
to sway and delight the readers, lies primarily in his
gift for perceiving the world and living his moods and
aspirations in terms of language. The following is an
excerpt from his poem ‘Endymion; A Poetic Romance’.
The poem is based on a Greek legend, in which
Endymion, a beautiful young shepherd and poet who
lived on Mount Latmos, had a vision of Cynthia, the
Moon Goddess. The enchanted youth resolved to seek
her out and so wandered away through the forest and
down under the sea.
Before you read
What pleasure does a beautiful thing give us? Are beautiful
things worth treasuring?
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness; but 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
4 4 4 4 4
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
Page 2


98/Flamingo
A Thing of Beauty
About the poet
John Keats (1795-1821) was a British Romantic poet.
Although trained to be a surgeon, Keats decided to
devote himself wholly to poetry. Keats’ secret, his power
to sway and delight the readers, lies primarily in his
gift for perceiving the world and living his moods and
aspirations in terms of language. The following is an
excerpt from his poem ‘Endymion; A Poetic Romance’.
The poem is based on a Greek legend, in which
Endymion, a beautiful young shepherd and poet who
lived on Mount Latmos, had a vision of Cynthia, the
Moon Goddess. The enchanted youth resolved to seek
her out and so wandered away through the forest and
down under the sea.
Before you read
What pleasure does a beautiful thing give us? Are beautiful
things worth treasuring?
A thing of beauty is a joy forever
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness; but 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
4 4 4 4 4
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
A Thing of Beauty/99
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.
rills : small streams
brake : a thick mass of ferns
Think it out
1. List the things of beauty mentioned in the poem.
2. List the things that cause suffering and pain.
3. What does the line, ‘Therefore are we wreathing a flowery band
to bind us to earth’ suggest to you?
4. What makes human beings love life in spite of troubles and
sufferings?
5. Why is ‘grandeur’ associated with the ‘mighty dead’?
6. Do we experience things of beauty only for short moments or do
they make a lasting impression on us?
7. What image does the poet use to describe the beautiful bounty
of the earth?
Notice the consistency in rhyme scheme and line length. Also
notice the balance in each sentence of the poem, as in,
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,
2020-21
©  NCERT 
not to be republished
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