For as it is dislocation and detachment from the life of God that makes things ugly, the poet, who re-attaches things to nature and the Whole,-- re-attaching even artificial things and violations of nature, to nature, by a deeper insight,--disposes very easily of the most disagreeable facts.
For through that better perception he stands one step nearer to things, and sees the flowing or metamorphosis; perceives that thought is multiform; that within the form of every creature is a force impelling it to ascend into a higher form; and following with his eyes the life, uses the forms which express that life, and so his speech flows with the flowing of nature.
What we call nature is a certain self-regulated motion or change; and nature does all things by her own hands, and does not leave another to baptize her but baptizes herself; and this through the metamorphosis again.
But nature has a higher end, in the production of New individuals, than security, namely ascension, or the passage of the soul into higher forms.
A spy they will not suffer; a lover, a poet, is the transcendency of their own nature,--him they will suffer.
as of an intellect doubled on itself), by abandonment to the nature of things; that beside his privacy of power as an individual man, there is a great public power on which he can draw, by unlocking, at all risks, his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and circulate through him; then he is caught up into the life of the Universe, his speech is thunder, his thought is law, and his words are universally intelligible as the plants and animals.
Not that in nature the relations can ever be as simple as this.
I am tempted to give one more instance showing how plants and animals, most remote in the scale of nature, are bound together by a web of complex relations.
The dependency of one organic being on another, as of a parasite on its prey, lies generally between beings remote in the scale of nature.
When we reflect on this struggle, we may console ourselves with the full belief, that the war of nature is not incessant, that no fear is felt, that death is generally prompt, and that the vigorous, the healthy, and the happy survive and multiply.
Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws.
A painter told me that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree; or draw a child by studying the outlines of its form merely,--but, by watching for a time his motions and plays, the painter enters into his nature and can then draw him at will in every attitude.
Because a profound nature awakens in us by its actions and words, by its very looks and manners, the same power and beauty that a gallery of sculpture or of pictures addresses.
I have seen in the sky a chain of summer lightning which at once showed to me that the Greeks drew from nature when they painted the thunderbolt in the hand of Jove.
In these caverns, already prepared by nature, the eye was accustomed to dwell on huge shapes and masses, so that when art came to the assistance of nature it could not move on a small scale without degrading itself.