What aspects of nature delight the poet in "The Cloud"?

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The poet is delighted by nature's beauty, its changeability, and the appearance of life in its every aspect in "The Cloud." Even a cloud, which might seem so insubstantial and ephemeral to us, can seem to die and then return again when conditions are right. In fact, just such a cloud actually narrates the poem, adding to the idea that there is life and intention in each movement and element in nature.

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The poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, is delighted by the changeability of elements in nature such as the sky and clouds, the water and earth, and the way nature constantly regenerates and reforms itself. He describes the sun and the moon and the way the clouds seem to adorn them, even equating them with a higher power. Almost everything is personified—given human qualities—imparting the sense that every movement of these bodies is intentional and purposeful.

The cloud, of course, is the speaker of the poem, and the cloud says that lightning is the "pilot" that directs its course; the "thirsting flowers" await the showers brought by the cloud; the leaves "dream"; and the earth's surface is like a "mother's breast" while she—the earth—"dances" in the sunshine. The pine trees "groan," the sunrise has "meteor eyes" and it "leaps" onto the back of the speaking cloud, and, finally, the sunset "breathe[s]," and so on.

In short, the life with which each particle of nature seems to be imbued, even the clouds which might seem so insubstantial to us, delights the poet, drawing his attention and demanding all of the vivid visual imagery that dominates the text. Finally, the cloud "laugh[s]" at the idea that it has died, when the sky is totally blue and cloudless, because it knows that "Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb," it will reform and reshape itself again. Nature seems so alive, so changeable, and so eternal.

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