Thursday, May 01, 2008


This Is Real Happiness

John Clare, Taste: the man of dissernment there is happiness in contemplating the different shapes of leaves of the various kinds of trees plants and herbs     there is happiness in examining minutely into the wild flowers as we wander amongst them to distinguish their characters and find out to what orders they belong in the artificial and natural systems of botany     there is happiness in lolling over the old shivered trunks and fragments of a ruined tree destroyed some years since by lightening and mossing and wasting away into everlasting decay—to wander among the hills and hollows of heaths which have been old stone quarrys roman excavations and other matter of fact fancys that the mind delights to indulge in in rambles—this is happiness—to lean on the rail of wooden brigs and mark the crinkles of the stream below and the little dancing beetles twharling and glancing their glossy coats to the summer sun—to bend over the old woods mossy rails and list the call of the heavy bumble bee playing with the coy flowers till he has lost his way—and anon finds it by accident and sings out of the wood to the sunshine that leads him to his mossy nest lapt up in the long grass of some quiet nook—such is happiness—and to wander a pathless way thro the intricacys of woods for a long while and at last burst unlooked for into the light of an extensive prospect at its side and there lye and muse on the landscape to rest ones wanderings—this is real happiness—to stand and muse on the bank of a meadow pool fringed with reed and bulrushes and silver clear in the middle on which the sun is reflected in spangles and there to listen the soulsoothing music of distant bells this is a luxury of happiness and felt even by the poor shepherd boy
William Trost Richards, Into the Woods

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