A Thing of Beauty
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Voicing - SATB Chorus, a cappella
Level - Easy
Language - English
Duration - 2:30
Category - Secular, Love, Beauty, Dreams
A Thing of Beauty is the second movement from a set of three short, a cappella choral pieces entitled The Undying Hymns. Although the piece originally belongs to the set, it has also been performed on its own.
The text for all of the movements touches on subjects of beauty and love, painting vivid and imaginative scenes often tied with nature. The text for this particular piece is an excerpt from the larger poem, Endymion, by John Keats. Keats' poem is based on the Greek mythological creatures Endymion, the shepherd, and Selene, the moon goddess who loves him. These themes of nature, unrequieted love, beauty, dreams, and quietness all contributed to the color and texture of the harmonies in the piece. There are also no splits in the voices, just light melodies and part-writing to augment the warmth and peace of the poetry.
By John Keats
A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
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.