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I don't understand the meaning of threshold brook in Keats's poem "The Human Seasons":

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.

Is it "a small stream running close to someone's door, or close to a wicket gate"? I doubt that, but this is the only interpretation I could come up with.

P.S. Or is it "a small stream that lies out of sight beyond some threshold" - say, a mound or hill or just a steep bank?

Googling for "threshold brook" "meaning" brings up boatloads of bloated literary criticism, and I need just the basic sense of the phrase.

P.P.S. I found one interpretation: "a river that passes by a cottage door" ("The Works of John Keats", Wordsworth Editions, 1994, page 490) after the question had been closed. Seems like I hadn't been meticulous enough.

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, CowperKettle, StoneyB, Glorfindel, Chenmunka Sep 16 '15 at 12:56

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Threshold brook is neither a fixed phrase (to the best of my knowledge it has never appeared in any context other than this) nor an instance or variation of any established 'template' I recognize.

It means exactly what it says: a brook somehow associated with a threshold.

That of course raises far more questions than it answers; but those questions belong to LitCrit, not ELL.

At any rate, you may rest assured that you understand exactly as much as any ordinary native speaker encountering this poem for the first time.

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    Interesting! I was sure it had some simple, down-to-earth meaning easily grasped by native speakers. The poem did not seem to be of the "poetic riddle" kind. D'oh.. – CowperKettle Sep 16 '15 at 12:26
  • I've just found one interpretation: "a river that passes by a cottage door" ("The Works of John Keats", Wordsworth Editions, 1994, page 490) – CowperKettle Sep 16 '15 at 18:44

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