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Nature Pictures


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The buttercups grew past numbering in this spot which they had chosen for their games among the grass, standing singly, in couples, in whole companies, yellow as the yolk of eggs, and glowing with an added lustre, I felt, because, being powerless to consummate with my palate the pleasure which the sight of them never failed to give me, I would let it accumulate as my eyes ranged over their golden expanse, until it became potent enough to produce an effect of absolute, purposeless beauty; and so it had been from my earliest childhood, when from the tow-path I had stretched out my arms towards them before I could even properly spell their charming name – a name fit for the Prince in some fairy-tale – immigrants, perhaps, from Asia centuries ago, but naturalized now for ever in the village, satisfied with their modest horizon, rejoicing in the sunshine and the water’s edge, faithful to their little glimpse of the railway-station, yet keeping none the less like some of our old paintings, in their plebeian simplicity, a poetic scintillation from the golden East.

Marcel Proust ~ In Search of Lost Time