Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Cloud by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Another favorite poem.
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve it in the rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.

I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast,
Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion
The pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The Spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in Heaven's blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.

The sanguine Sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead;
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one morning may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when Sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of Heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine aery nest,
As still as a brooding dove.

That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the Moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,
Till calm the rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,
Are each paved with the moon and these.

I bind the Sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the Moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam-proof, I hang like a roof,
The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march
With hurricane, fire and snow,
When the Powers of the air are chained to my chair,
Is the million-colored bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,
While the moist Earth was laughing below.

I am the daughter of Earth and Water,
And the nursling of the Sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain when with never a stain
The pavilion of Heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams with their convex gleams
Build up the blue dome of air,
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.


  1. Oh, wouldn't it be grand to float on those beautiful clouds! Lovely cloud photos Denise!

  2. Stunning Denise !
    Just like a magical ride.....

  3. Wonderful cloud shots and that's quite a poem!

  4. Why...I'm blushing. thank you.

    Aloha from Waikiki;

    Comfort Spiral
    > < } } ( ° >


    < ° ) } } > <

  5. Oh, I do miss seeing the clouds from that side! Beautiful poetry and awesome pictures!

  6. The words and pictures are a perfect combination Denise.

  7. I love Shelley's work, this one especially. Beautiful cloud pictures,Denise.

  8. Your photos are a perfect accompaniment to Shelley's work:-)

  9. What a fantastic poem, and you show how pretty it is with your photo!

  10. There are days i can lay and just watch the clouds go by, it takes me back to my childhood I think.

  11. Stunning photographs compliment the beautiful poem , I use to love cloud watching as a child too ! Can`t remember the last time I did that though x Hmm !

  12. Perfection! Such beautiful clouds and a wonderful poem.

  13. I love seeing the clouds from above. Very nice photos, Denise!

  14. Fantastic clouds and lovely words too!

  15. In photo number 6 I can see many faces looking up to the heavens.

  16. Lovely poem, Denise. The sky shots are peaceful and pretty.

  17. Dunno where your photos have gone but the poem is beautiful and new to me.
    Thanks for comments on my blog - Olli is Ok but the thug is still walking around as far as we know despite police saying he would be arrested.
    The trouble alcohol causes in the UK is horrendous.
    BTW I belong to a forum you might be interested in -

  18. Denise, this is such a moving poem and the clouds are so pretty. These must be the clouds Angles float on to watch over us.