In two of his poems, Keats makes declarations about beauty that have become famous. Endymion begins with "A thing of beauty is a joy forever." In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," Keats ends with the famous lines:
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
The entire first stanza of Endymion is a tribute to the enduring power of beauty. The narrator says that beauty will never pass away and that it will forever remain a solace and pleasure to him.
In "Ode on a Grecian Urn," the narrator becomes so enraptured with the beautiful scene he sees on an urn that he wishes he could become part of it. He longs for an immortal world where it would forever be spring, the people forever young, and the villagers forever happily heading to a festival. In the third stanza, he reaches a crescendo of emotion as he calls the scene he gazes at "happy" many times over. He is unabashed in his joy as he imaginatively enters the world of art.
In "Ode to Autumn," Keats doesn't use the word beauty, but his piling on of sensual images speaks to his delight in natural beauty. His odes are known for their beautiful imagery
: Keats, like other Romantic poets, enjoyed depicting the beautiful in words.
Keats died young of tuberculosis and found much solace amid his pain by dwelling on the beautiful and composing memorable verses about it. As the author of so much sensuous poetry celebrating beauty, Keats has become identified with it.