Four Seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:
He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring’s honied cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves
His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness—to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook.
He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.
John Keats (1795-1821) was an English Romantic poet who contributed several great works to the canon of English-language poetry. Though Keats trained formally as a surgeon, his literary pursuits distinguished him as a tactful writer even in his own time. He often employed picturesque imagery that reflects his upbringing at a stable, as in this poem where the bucolic suggestions conjure images of the countryside.