The Romantics

The Romantics

Alexander Maxwell

 

Romanticism was an artistic, intellectual and literary movement in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. It was emphasised on the emotion and individualism of the being, and directed its thinking on what the being felt rather than what it had been taught to believe about the world in which it lived. Focusing rather on the truth than the lies spread and widely believed as truth, which left most individuals disjointed from the masses. I have always been fascinated by the poets of this era, poets and writers like Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake. Whose words seemed to sing like a bird directly to my soul and not my influenced mind.
 
Like them I have suffered in seeing the world for what it is, and not for what I have been sold or told to believe. I would like to share with you a couple of my favourite works by Keats and Shelley, if they do speak to you. It may not seem that way now, but you are blessed with the emotions to feel and see the truth in the world, not the dark veil of immorality that blights human kind and mind.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Lift not the painted veil which those who live
Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there,
And it but mimic all we would believe
With colours idly spread,–behind, lurk Fear
And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave
Their shadows, o’er the chasm, sightless and drear.
I knew one who had lifted it–he sought,
For his lost heart was tender, things to love,
But found them not, alas! nor was there aught
The world contains, the which he could approve.
Through the unheeding many he did move,
A splendour among shadows, a bright blot
Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove
For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.

When I Have Fears by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high-piled books, in charactery,
Hold like rich garners the full ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour,
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love;–then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

 

Alexander Maxwell