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John Keats (1795-1821)

The Human Seasons


              1Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
              2     There are four seasons in the mind of man:
              3He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
              4     Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
              5He has his Summer, when luxuriously
              6     Spring's honied cud of youthful thought he loves
              7To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
              8     Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
              9His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
            10     He furleth close; contented so to look
            11On mists in idleness--to let fair things
            12     Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
            13He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
            14Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

Notes

1] An early version of this poem was included in a letter of March 13, 1818.

7-8] high/Is. This is an editorial emendation which first appeared in Life, Letters etc., 1848. The first published form reads "nigh His."


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Leigh Hunt, The Literary Pocket-Book: or, Companion for the Lover of Nature and Art (London: C. & J. Ollier, 1818-22). 5 vols. AY L584 MICR mfm
First publication date: 1819
RPO poem editor: J. R. MacGillivray
RP edition: 3RP 2.625.
Recent editing: 4:2001/12/20

Composition date note: March 13, 1818
Form: English Sonnet
Rhyme: ababcdcdefefgg


Other poems by John Keats