The text for Keen, Fitful Gusts is a poem by John Keats which illustrates the power of the mind to create a world for itself. Keats describes a traveler, walking a great distance in very bad weather, who is nevertheless content because his mind is filled with poems he has read. The first half of the piece depicts the violent weather and the long journey; the second half, which is gentle and tonal, represents the world inside the traveler’s head.
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Text by John Keats (1795-1821):
Keen, fitful gusts are whisp’ring here and there Among the bushes half leafless, and dry; The stars look very cold about the sky, And I have many miles on foot to fare. Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air, Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily, Or of those silver lamps that burn on high, Or of the distance from home’s pleasant lair: For I am brimfull of the friendliness That in a little cottage I have found; Of fair-hair’d Milton’s eloquent distress, And all his love for gentle Lycid drown’d; Of lovely Laura in her light green dress, And faithful Petrarch gloriously crown’d.