Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Cloud
By Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822)
 
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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.
 
That orbèd maiden, with white fire laden,        5
  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,        10
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,        15
  Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high
  Are each paved with the moon and these.
 
I am the daughter of earth and water,
  And the nursling of the sky;        20
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,        25
  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.        30
 
 
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