Poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)




The Question

 

1.
I dreamed that, as I wandered by the way,
Bare Winter suddenly was changed to Spring,
And gentle odours led my steps astray,
Mixed with a sound of waters murmuring
Along a shelving bank of turf, which lay
Under a copse, and hardly dared to fling
Its green arms round the bosom of the stream,
But kissed it and then fled, as thou mightest in dream.

 

2.
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets,
Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth,
The constellated flower that never sets;
Faint oxslips; tender bluebells, at whose birth
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets -
Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth -
Its mother's face with Heaven's collected tears,
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.

 

3.
And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,
Green cowbind and the moonlight-coloured may,
And cherry-blossoms, and white cups, whose wine
Was the bright dew, yet drained not by the day;
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine,
With its dark buds and leaves, wandering astray;
And flowers azure, black, and streaked with gold,
Fairer than any wakened eyes behold.

 

4.
And nearer to the river's trembling edge
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple pranked with white.
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
As soothed the dazzled eye with sober sheen.

 

5.
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
Kept these imprisoned children of the Hours
Within my hand, - and then, elate and gay,
I hastened to the spot whence I had come,
That I might there present it! - Oh! to whom?

 

 

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Poetry by Editorial Team The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2021-12-13 at 00:01

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one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
I wonder if there exists a place where such a gorgeous bouquet of natural wildflowers still grow.
2021-12-14


Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
This is a fine poem, but, as one reads it, as one locates it in what already was a two-hundred year tradition of sing-songy gush, the collective shout of Enough! by English language poets at the end of the nineteenth century seems appropriate.
2021-12-13