Percy Bysshe Shelley. The Cloud

















Percy Bysshe Shelley is a Great English poet. He was born in an aristocratic family on the 4th of August 1792 at Field Place, near Horsham, West Sussex, England.

His father, Sir Timothy Shelley, was a member of Parliament for Horsham. His mother, Elizabeth Pilford, was a Sussex landowner. He had four younger sisters and one much younger brother. Young boy got his early education at home. His childhood was happy, full of fishing and hunting.

At the age of 12 he entered Eton College — one of England’s highest in prestige secondary schools.

It was very difficult time in Shelley`s life. He had no idea how to play sports or do anything boys normally liked to do. Boys attacked him every day. They called him «Mad Shelley» because of his rather unconventional behavior. Shelley read novels, Plato’s dialogues and chemistry books. Shelley proved himself an excellent Latin scholar. He wrote the Latin verses with an incredible ease. In 1810 he entered Oxford University. Later he lived in Switzerland. There he met Lord Byron — another famous romantic poet of England. They became close friends. In four years he moved to Italy.














In Italy he never put aside books of Sophocles and Theocritus, translated Homer. He wrote lots of poems there. Shelley loved the sea with all his heart so he bought a ship with Byron. They called it “Ariel”.  But one day an accident happened.  On 8th of July 1822, less than a month before his 30th birthday, Shelley drowned in a storm. He was on his way home from Pisa with two more persons on board of «Ariel». Suddenly the sea was covered with thick fog and high waves appeared and the ship crashed. The poet`s body was found on a shore. In the pocket of Shelley`s coat friends found a book of poems of John Keats. Nowadays the grave of Shelley is in Rome next to Keats`s grave.

Percy Bysshe Shelley became an idol for many poets such as Robert Browning and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. His poems loved Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw and other luminaries.



The Cloud

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 rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.


to thirs — feel the need to drink

a stream — a natural body of running water going on or under the earth

to bear — to carry

to lay (laid) — to put

noonday — the middle of the day

to shake — to vibrate

a dew — in the morning the grass is wet with it

to wake up — to rise after a sleep

wield — to have in hands

flail — цеп

lashing — хлестающий

hail — град

whiten — to turn white

plain — равнина

dissolve — растворяться



Перевод Константина Бальмонта

Прохладу дождей и с ручьев и с морей
      Я несу истомленным цветам,
В удушливый день мимолетную тень
      Я даю задремавшим листам.
Живую росу на крылах я несу,
      Пробуждаю ей почки от сна,
Меж тем как легли они к груди земли,
      Пока пляшет вкруг солнца она.
Бичующий град моей дланью подъят,
      Я под гром, как цепом, молочу,
Белеет вокруг зеленеющий луг,
      Брызнет дождь, — и опять я молчу.



Перевод В. В. Левика

Я влагой свежей морских побережий
      Кроплю цветы весной,
Даю прохладу полям и стаду
      В полдневный зной.
Крыла раскрою, прольюсь росою,
      И вот ростки взошли,
Поникшие сонно на влажное лоно
      Кружащейся в пляске Земли.
Я градом хлестну, как цепом по гумну,
      И лист побелеет, и колос.
Я теплым дождем рассыплюсь кругом,
      И смех мой — грома голос.