Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
The key idea here is that things are not simply on a decline towards death. Keats is freezing in time that moment in the balance BETWEEN life and death, highlighted by the ‘aloft/ sinking’ ‘lives/ dies’ juxtapositions. This is not a lament or a celebration so much as a musing on the tipping point between the two: a tipping point encapsulated in the concept of Autumn.
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