John Keats's poem "La Belle Dame sans Merci" provides plenty of hints about the season in which it is set. In the first stanza, we read that "The sedge has withered from the lake." Sedge is a type of grass, and grass withers in the late fall and winter. No birds sing, so they must have already flown south. Further, the harvest is complete, and "The squirrel's granary is full." Winter is at least approaching, if not already upon the land.
The middle stanzas of the poem, however, take us back to summer days when the knight first met the lady in a beautiful meadow. The flowers were plentiful then, for he wove a garland to place on her head. The couple eats sweet roots, wild honey, and "manna-dew," all foods of summer. Then the lady sings the knight to sleep on a hillside.
When the knight awakens, the lady is gone, and the hill is cold and bleak. Summer has passed, and winter is arriving or has already come. The knight is miserable, for he is held forever in the thrall of "La Belle Dame sans...
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