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A Dream of the Unknown

Written by: Percy Bysshe Shelley | Biography
 | Quotes (77) |
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 bluebells, at whose birth 
The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets¡ª 
Like a child, half in tenderness and mirth¡ª 
Its mother's face with heaven-collected tears, 15 
When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears. 

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine, 
Green cow-bind 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; 20 
And wild roses, and ivy serpentine 
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 25 
There grew broad flag-flowers, purple prank'd 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; 30 
And bulrushes, and reeds of such deep green 
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 35 
Were mingled or opposed, the like array 
Kept these imprison'd children of the Hours 
Within my hand,¡ªand then, elate and gay, 
I hasten'd to the spot whence I had come 
That I might there present it¡ªoh! to Whom? 40 



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