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's collected tears, When the low wind, its playmate's voice, it hears.
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.
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 it!--Oh! to whom?