The Question

Published by Leigh Hunt (with the signature Sigma) in "The Literary Pocket-Book", 1822. Reprinted by Mrs. Shelley, "Posthumous Poems", 1824. Copies exist in the Harvard manuscript book, amongst the Boscombe manuscripts, and amongst Ollier manuscripts.

 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?  
 NOTES: _14 Like...mirth Harvard manuscript, Boscombe manuscript;     wanting in Ollier manuscript, 1822, 1824, 1839. _15 Heaven's collected Harvard manuscript, Ollier manuscript, 1822;     Heaven-collected 1824, 1839.