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THE  QUESTION

By
Percy Shelley
1820


&/\&/\&

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.
 
 

There grew pied wind-flowers and violets;

Daisies, those pearled Arcturi of the earth,

The constellated flower that never sets;

Faint oxlips; 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-collected tears

When the low wind its playmate's voice it hears.
 

And in the warm hedge grew lush eglantine,

Green cow-bind 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.
 

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.
 

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  ----  Oh !     to whom?

&/\&/\&

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