Our ideas of beauty need to be radically changed, and made anew for today’s purposes;
Perhaps one of the missions of both priest and poet, for the modern, is to break down the old conventions, the barriers, so narrowly restricting the ideas of beauty.
It will all come in due time,
Thine eyes, ears—all thy loftiest attributes—all that takes cognizance of natural beauty, shall wake and fill.

The whole universe is a vast procession with perfect measured and beautiful motion,
Each precise object, condition, combination, process, exhibits a beauty,
The world is full of beauty for you, if you approach it in the right spirit,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell—
Be happy going forth, seeing all the beautiful perfect things.

I do not doubt but the majesty and beauty of the world are latent in any iota of the world,
I think ten million supple-fingered gods are perpetually employed hiding beauty in the world—burying it everywhere in everything—and most of all in spots that men and women do not think of, and never look;
This is the reason that about the proper expression of beauty there is precision and balance—
One part does not need to be thrust above another,
There is enough of unaccountable importance and beauty in every step we tread,
Whatever happens to anyone may become beautiful,
Whatever happens to anybody it may be turn’d to beautiful results.

Every hour of the day and night, every acre of the earth and shore, and every point or patch of the sea and sky, is full of pictures, alive, every part in its best light.
No two of this immortal brood are alike; except that they are all of unspeakable beauty and perfection, and large or small alike, descend into that greedy something in man whose appetite is more undying than hope, and more insatiate than the sand with water,
The greed, that with perfect complaisance devours all things.

The fruition of beauty is no chance of hit or miss—it is inevitable as life—it is as exact and plumb as gravitation;
Nor of all the beautiful things of the universe is there any more beautiful than truth—
Man has not art enough to make the truth repulsive.

Great is today, and beautiful,
Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty,
All seems beautiful to me, all the wondrous flow of beauty.
Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me—
What is beauty?
Beauty is simply health,
All beauty comes from beautiful blood and a beautiful brain.

True art, identical with the perception of the beauty that there is in all the ordinations as well as all the works of nature, is one, is not partial, but includes all times and forms and sorts,
Art most of all affiliates with the open air, is sunny and hardy and sane only with nature.
Of the arts, as music, poems, architecture, and the rest, they are in their way to provoke soothing and solemnly placed influences,
They are to seek this delight of the soul where it waits—for I see that it always patiently waits.

The excellence of a work of art consists principally in its capability of provoking thought and pleasure in the mind.
The influence of beautiful works of art pervades the minds, and in due time the actions and character, of all who come in contact with them;
The invisible sway of even a picture, has sometimes controlling influence over a man’s character and future life.
All architecture is what you do to it when you look upon  it;
What salutary and purifying and bracing effects architecture might have—
It gives perpetual lessons of strength, grace, proportion, equilibrium.

To the artist has been given the command to go forth into all the world and preach the gospel of beauty,
A sublime moral beauty is present to them, and may almost be said to emanate from the pure, extravagant, yearning, questioning artist’s face;
The perfect man is the perfect artist, he sees new beauties everywhere.
All great rebels and innovators exhibit the highest phases of the artistic spirit, especially if their intellectual majesty bears itself out with calmness amid popular odium or circumstances of cruelty and an infliction of suffering.

I think of art as something to serve the people—the mass—with that last impalpable ethic purpose from the artist (most likely unconscious to himself) below all, as all great art must have. When it fails to do that it’s false to its promises.
It is a beautiful truth that all men contain something of the artist in them,
The taste for pictorials is one of those developments of the imaginative quality—one which resides in quite every man—which is fed in childhood, and in a great degree is common alike to all classes.

We could wish the spreading of a sort of democratical artistic atmosphere,
We wish some plan could be formed which would result in a perpetual free exhibition of works of art here, which would be open to all classes,
All public exhibitions of paintings, statuary, etc., diffuse more or less of the refinement and spiritual elegance which are identified with art. 

Let every family have some flowers, some choice prints, and some sculpture casts;
As to prints, there are innumerable ones that can be purchased for a small sum, good enough for any man’s parlor.
And if we are met with the ready rejoinder, that “it is hard enough for poor folk to earn the necessaries of life, let alone things which you can neither eat or wear,” we still say that that higher appetite, the appetite for beauty and the intellectual, must be consulted too—and the bread and beef should not always be allowed to carry the day.
He does a good work who, pausing in the way, calls to the feverish crowd that in the life we live upon this beautiful earth there may, after all, be something vaster and better than dress and the table, and business, and politics.

What beauty there is in words!
I have found that no word spoken, but is beautiful, in its place.
Everything is beautiful in itself and perfect,
The office of the poet is to remove what stands in the way of our perceiving the beauty and the perfection.
In all times and in all nations it has been the faith of poets to diffuse the love of beauty,
The best poetry is simply that which has the perfectest beauty—
Beauty to the ear, beauty to the brain, beauty to the heart, beauty to the time and place—
There cannot be a true poem unless it satisfies the various needs of beauty.

The true poets are not followers of beauty but the august masters of beauty,
The words of the true poems do not seek beauty, they are sought,
Forever touching them or close upon them follows beauty, longing, fain, love-sick—
What indeed is finally beautiful except death and love?

Who has projected beautiful words through the longest time?
By God! I will outvie him!
I will say such words, they shall stretch through longer time!
Give me to speak beautiful words! take all the rest.

NEXT: The Beauty of Nature and People