The next morning, Algy ventured back out onto the moor to see what was happening. Intermittent blizzard conditions persisted, but the snow was soft and wet and mixed with sleet, so it tended to melt partially before the next wave swept in. The wind, on the other hand, was fierce and bitter. Algy tried to keep as close to the ground as possible, with his back to the icy blasts. But even in such shelter as he could find, he noticed that all his feathers became aligned in one direction… never a good sign!

As the piercing wind stung his face, Algy remembered a rather unusual poem by Keats:

          O thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
          Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
          And the black elm-tops ‘mong the freezing stars,
          To thee the Spring will be a harvest-time.
          O thou, whose only book has been the light
          Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
          Night after night when Phoebus was away,
          To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
          O fret not after knowledge – I have none,
          And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
          O fret not after knowledge – I have none,
          And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
          At thought of idleness cannot be idle,
          And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

[ Algy is quoting the poem The Winter’s Wind by the early 19th century English poet John Keats. ]

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