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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
508. A Dream of the Unknown
 
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
 
I DREAM’D that as I wander’d by the way
  Bare Winter suddenly was changed to Spring,
And gentle odours led my steps astray,
  Mix’d with a sound of waters murmuring
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay        5
  Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,
But kiss’d it and then fled, as Thou mightest in dream.
 
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
  Daisies, those pearl’d Arcturi of the earth,        10
The constellated flower that never sets;
  Faint oxlips; tender blue-bells, at whose birth
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets
Its mother’s face with heaven-collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate’s voice, it hears.        15
 
And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,
  Green cowbind and the moonlight-colour’d May,
And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine
  Was the bright dew yet drain’d not by the day;
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine        20
  With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray;
And flowers azure, black, and streak’d with gold,
Fairer than any waken’d eyes behold.
 
And nearer to the river’s trembling edge
  There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank’t with white,        25
And starry river-buds among the sedge,
  And floating water-lilies, broad and bright,
Which lit the oak that overhung the hedge
  With moonlight beams of their own watery light;
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green        30
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.
 
Methought that of these visionary flowers
  I made a nosegay, bound in such a way
That the same hues, which in their natural bowers
  Were mingled or opposed, the like array        35
Kept these imprison’d children of the Hours
  Within my hand,—and then, elate and gay,
I hasten’d to the spot whence I had come
That I might there present it—O! to whom?
 

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