The Quote Garden ™
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Quotations about Clouds
MOON & CLOUDS,
SUN & SUNBEAMS,
SUNRISE & SUNSET,
NOSE–BOOK & HEAD–CLOUDS,
You must not blame me if I do talk to the clouds... ~Henry David Thoreau
Dark clouds become heaven's flowers when kissed by light. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
Restful, joyful, feasting the eye...
Gazing at clouds that forever go by...
Under the blue of the vaulted sky...
~Hattie Tyng Griswold, "Under the Blue," 1897
Thou must have marked the billowy clouds
Edged with intolerable radiancy
Towering like rocks of jet
Crowned with a diamond wreath.
And yet there is a moment,
When the sun's highest point
Peeps like a star o'er Ocean's western edge,
When those far clouds of feathery gold,
Shaded with deepest purple, gleam
Like islands on a dark blue sea;
Then has thy fancy soared above the earth,
And furled its wearied wing
Within the Fairy's fane.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, Queen Mab
God's cloud-scenes are for everybody everywhere. Some people can never afford to travel; the grandeur of the Alps, the loveliness of the lakes, are only imaginative dreams for them; and even those who visit such fair scenes merely get a hurried glimpse, and then they are back again amidst the turmoil of human life; but the sky is always overhead, and everywhere to be seen. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills...
A little Cloud was fashioned
In a summer hour
By the love impassioned
Of the sun and shower...
~"The Cloud," Excelsior: Helps to Progress in Religion, Science, and Literature, Vol. VI, edited by James Hamilton, 1856
Poor moralists! To miss so much of the joy of life; to deny oneself the pleasure (to mention only one among many) of reclining lazily on one's back in a snap-dragon, watching the little white clouds sail past upon a sea of blue... ~A. A. Milne, "The Case for the Artist," 1919
See! Do you see that wondrous, winged cloud?
As if all the garden flowers had taken flight
Into the blue air for a holiday,
And left their tall green stalks beteared with dew?
~Sharlot Mabridth Hall (1870–1943), "The Lost Thoughts," Cactus and Pine: Songs of the Southwest, 1910 [reference to Guy de Maupassant —tg]
He'd lie in fields,
And through his fingers watch the changing clouds,
Those playful fancies of the mighty sky.
~Albert Smith, c. 1853
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...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Cloud"
Clouds are among the most striking appearances in the natural world. Whether heralding the dawn with beacons of flame and banners of gold, or escorting the sun's descending car with armies of light and sapphire thrones; whether clothing the mountains with garments of beauty, or enriching the landscape with flying shadows; whether shading the weary from the noonday heat, refreshing the field and the garden with gentle showers, or shaking the earth with mighty thunders; whether moving in silent and solitary grandeur along the blue deep of the sky, or covering the whole heavens with black and jagged masses, torn by the tempest and hurled onward like charging hosts in the shock of battle,—glorious in the morning, grateful at noonday, prophetic of the dawn at evening, clouds lend a charm to every landscape, a diversity to every season and a lesson to every thoughtful mind. No earthly scene could attract us long if deprived of light and shade from the changing clouds, and with our present feelings we should find it hard to be satisfied with heaven itself if it be one unvaried, cloudless noon. ~Daniel March, "The Balancings of the Clouds," Our Father's House, or the Unwritten Word, 1869
The storm raged all night, but when the dawn came it was spent. Anne saw a fairy fringe of light on the skirts of darkness. Soon the eastern hill-tops had a fire-shot ruby rim. The clouds rolled themselves away into great, soft, white masses on the horizon; the sky gleamed blue and silvery. A hush fell over the world. ~L. M. Montgomery, Anne of the Island, 1915
Now if God made the clouds so beautiful, did He not mean us to gaze upon them and be thankful for them? Did He not wish to remind us that there is something heavenly above us, beyond the reach of our present sordid lives? ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
Ye glorious pageants! hung in air
To greet our raptur'd view;
What in creation can compare,
For loveliness, with you?
~Bernard Barton, "To the Clouds," Napoleon and Other Poems, 1822
I think you might dispense with half your doctors, if you would only consult Doctor Sun more, and be more under the treatment of these great hydropathic doctors, the clouds! ~Henry Ward Beecher, Royal Truths
Above, there pass
White shapes that change and flow
And blend and break and go
Beyond my eyes. Below
The grasses dream and sway.
And I am even as they.
~Mary Carolyn Davies, "Spring Day," Youth Riding, 1919
God has written the transitoriness of all earthly things upon the clouds, that every eye may see it. He has given them beauty and made them a blessing, that they may the better represent things which charm for a time and disappoint in the end. When you are tempted to set your heart on earthly things, look up to the changing clouds and see how soon your possessions will pass away. God has clothed the clouds of the morning and the evening with evanescent beauty, that he may awaken in our hearts a longing for the land where the glory of his presence shall be an everlasting light. ~Daniel March, "The Balancings of the Clouds," Our Father's House, or the Unwritten Word, 1869
Perchance, like myself, you may cloud-gazing be;
Perchance, my sweet friend, you are thinking of me...
~Margaret Miller Davidson, 1838
YE Clouds, who are the ornament of heaven;
Who give to it its gayest shadowings,
And its most awful glories; ye who roll
In the dark tempest, or at dewy evening
Hang low in tenderest beauty; ye who, ever
Changing your Protean aspects, now are gathered
Like fleecy piles, when the mid-sun is brightest,
Even in the height of heaven, and there repose,
Solemnly calm, without a visible motion,
Hour after hour, looking upon the earth
With a serenest smile: — or ye who, rather,
Heaped in those sulphury masses, heavily
Jutting above their bases, like the smoke
Poured from a furnace or a roused volcano,
Stand on the dun horizon, threatening
Lightning and storm...
~James Gates Percival, "Clouds"
It is better to have your head in the clouds, and know where you are, if indeed you cannot get it above them, than to breathe the clearer atmosphere below them, and think that you are in paradise. ~Henry David Thoreau, 1853
Were I a cloud I'd gather
My skirts up in the air,
And fly I well know whither,
And rest I well know where...
~Robert Seymour Bridges
[I]n our own country there is no season when the beauty of cloud-land does not reveal itself. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time. ~John Lubbock, "Recreation," The Use of Life, 1894
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...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Cloud"
Clouds weave the SUMMER into the season of AUTUMN: and YOUTH rises from dashed hopes, into the statures of a MAN. ~Ik Marvel (Donald Grant Mitchell, 1822–1908), Dream Life: A Fable of the Seasons
We live under clouds, which sometimes close and make us gloomy, and sometimes open to give a glimpse of the glory beyond. It is vain to be impatient and angry with this; resentment will never scatter the mist or disperse a cloud, whether it be in the world revealed by the sense, or by the spirit. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
Clusters of fluted sea-shells,
Coral fringed, pearl centered;
The glory of the setting sun caught in their fragile rims.
Above clear-cut cliffs of alabaster whiteness
Is the pale globe of the full moon;
The changing clouds are bits of silvered fluff
Adrift in a sea of intense blue.
~Mary Brown Clement
When we gaze at cloud-scenes, we feel nameless longings, awe, reverence, or are homesick for a great love and melted tenderness rising from the thought of something behind the clouds to that of a power behind nature. Cloud language is addressed to the heart, to reverie, to the poet's pen and artist's brush. ~G. Stanley Hall, "Note on Cloud Fancies," 1903 [a little altered –tg]
And now it has risen above the massive and lofty tree, and throws its pleasant shadow down upon the earth—pleasant shadow that paces along the meadows, leaving behind a greater brilliancy on tree, and grass, and hedge, and flower than what, for a moment, it had eclipsed. ~William Smith, Gravenhurst, or Thoughts on Good and Evil, 1862
A thousand miles up, great white clouds were blown
Across a sky as bright and clear as glass,
And here their shadows raced across the grass.
Cloud-gazing made one's little senses reel,
For all the sky seemed, like a glittering wheel,
To turn clean over.
~William Canton, "The Great World," A Lost Epic, and Other Poems, 1887
Little clouds are free. They just float around and have a good time. Very free. Maybe one of the freest things in nature. ~Bob Ross, "Not Quite Spring," The Joy of Painting, 1992
Thank God, all you who have a spark of rational piety in your hearts, for the glorious commonplace of earth and sky,—for this cloud-embosomed planet in which you pass your lives. ~William Smith, Gravenhurst, or Thoughts on Good and Evil, 1862
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...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Cloud"
Look up! What is that apparition of dazzling brightness rising softly upon the blue sky from behind those tall and massive elms? If you saw it for the first time in your life, you would say it must be some celestial visitant. Is it light itself from heaven taking shape, and just softened and subdued to the endurance of a mortal vision? It is nothing but a cloud!—mere vapour that the unseen wind moves and moulds, and that the sun shines on for a little time. ~William Smith, Gravenhurst, or Thoughts on Good and Evil, 1862
She took pleasure in flowers, in the gambols of pet animals, in long listless spells of cloud-gazing when the heavens were bright — healing with the luxury of rest, of passive enjoyment, indifferent to ought but the passing present. ~Egerton Castle, The Light of Scarthey, 1899 [a little altered –tg]
Though outwardly a gloomy shroud,
The inner half of every cloud
Is bright and shining:
I therefore turn my clouds about,
And always wear them inside out
To show the lining.
~Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler, "The Wisdom of Folly"
When scattered clouds are resting on the bosoms of hills, it seems as if one might climb into the heavenly region, earth being so intermixed with sky, and gradually transformed into it. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1839
Where the spray, like snow-dust whirled,
High in vapoury wreaths is hurled.
Clouds on clouds, in volumes driven,
Curtain round the vault of heaven...
~Thomas Love Peacock, "Rhododaphne"
I sat gazing at clouds and sky till they faded into the gloom of night; they got thinner and thinner then, and stars shone through them, and soon they vanished entirely, and the stars had it all their own way. ~Gordon Stables, Kenneth McAlpine: A Tale of Mountain, Moorland, and Sea, 1885
No doubt the phenomena of cloud formation is designed primarily to water the earth; to gather together the moisture from the salt sea, and from dark, unwholesome fens; to purify them by the mysterious alchemy of the sky; to carry them onward by sweeping storm or by gentle zephyr, and let them descend gently in the mist, or steadily in the rain, which will waken sleeping seeds, and revive drooping vegetation; but all this might have been effected if now and then an ominous black cloud had blotted out the sun from our sight and poured down a deluge till it had spent itself, and then had left the sky glaringly bright and blue till the process required to be repeated. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
Massive rolling waves
of white-gray clouds
chase the warm afternoon
across a deep blue sky.
The cloud controls the light, and the mountains on earth appear or fade according to its passage; they wear so simply, from head to foot, the luminous grey or the emphatic purple, as the cloud permits, that their own local colour and their own local season are lost and cease, effaced before the all-important mood of the cloud. ~Alice Meynell, "Cloud"
Did the semblance of a shadow
On the wide sky pass?
It dusked the quiet meadow,
And the glistening grass;
It dimmed the forest fountain
And the clover lea;
It deepened on the mountain,
Darkened on the sea.
~"The Cloud," Excelsior: Helps to Progress in Religion, Science, and Literature, Vol. VI, edited by James Hamilton, 1856
In the sky alone is infinite variety. Yesterday, it bent above the earth a hemisphere of thinnest turquoise, fleckless as those Tuscan skies travelers delight to recall. Looking upward, I watch the sunlight as it spills itself upon the foliage, and I see the oak leaves making argent-green arabesques upon the blue of the sky.
To-day a chain of cloud-cliffs guards the coast of some cloudland Albion, while all below is a faint blue suggestive of leagues of ocean that had fallen asleep at their feet. But the moments stealthily move on. An hour ago, the sky, like a sea, was covered with cloud-yachts, all their white wings spread. Now, I look up from my book, and lo! the airy shallops have sailed away to far harbors of the nether world. ~Sister Mary Blanche (Elizabeth King, b.1852), "A Summer Siesta," Idyls and Sketches, 1916
The latest authority among men of science says that little is known of the causes which balance the clouds in the air. They are formed of water, and water, however minutely divided or blown into bubbles, is always heavier than the air. And yet these flying fountains of all the rivers of earth, these armed and thundering legions of the storm, that beat down the forests with hail and bury the mountains in snow, and flood the plains with water, go floating over us at vast heights with all their mighty magazines when all our philosophy would require them to sink to the earth. ~Daniel March, "The Balancings of the Clouds," Our Father's House, or the Unwritten Word, 1869
Why do I love clouds? You can't save a cloud like you can save a leaf or a flower or a rock — clouds are now! Clouds are the carpe diem of nature. ~Terri Guillemets, "Ever-changing sky, ever-changing life," 2009
Those delicate wanderers,
The wind, the star, the cloud...
~Æ (George William Russell), "Sacrifice," Homeward Songs by the Way, 1894
As for Lucy, she was a dreamy sort of girl, good for star-gazing, and cloud-gazing, and castle-in-the-air gazing. ~F. J. Gould, Worth While People, 1916 [Lucy Larcom –tg]
[S]uch vast quantities of water... held suspended in the air in clouds so light, fragile, and evanescent... How is the water-dust suspended in the atmosphere?... Sometimes we see a dense heavy mist lying so thickly over the fields that it seems as if nothing could dissipate it, yet it is so thin and frail that the sun rapidly melts it away. At other times we look on colossal mountains of cloud, and see the sunlight beating on them all day long; yet they resist him victoriously, and shine in more wonderful splendour when he sinks below the horizon, and then they mysteriously steal away, and bright stars shine serenely where they stood. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
Wind horses tossing grey cloud manes,
Thundering over the sky's blue plains.
~Margaret David, "Western Storm," in Arizona Highways, August 1972
There was a rustle of chirruping sparrows in the green lacquer leaves of the ivy, and the blue cloud-shadows chased themselves across the grass like swallows. How pleasant it was in the garden! ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890
They never stand still—
but they're not
in a hurry either.
~Terri Guillemets, "A lesson from clouds," 1993
Come up here, you dream people. You're cloud-gazing. Have a look at something else than vapor. ~Frank Hatfield, "Hum," 1909
We have seen that when the earth had to be prepared for the habitation of man, a veil, as it were, of intermediate being was spread between him and its darkness, in which were joined, in a subdued measure, the stability and insensibility of the earth... Between the earth and man arose the leaf. Between the heaven and man came the cloud. His life being partly as the falling leaf, and partly as the flying vapour. ~John Ruskin, "The Cloud-Balancings"
Have you ever seen anything more beautiful...
than huge wandering clouds
marbled in every subtle shade of gray
bordered with light and hope
shifting and swirling every moment
in a slow dance with the winds?
In early history clouds were thought to reveal the feelings of the divine powers towards men and to forecast future events. Cloud gazing was very likely a more serious and anxious business, with attentive scrutiny to the ever metamorphosing landscape above and pastoral and agricultural life dependent on the weather. ~G. Stanley Hall, "Note on Cloud Fancies," 1903 [Aeromancy. Text a little altered. –tg]
No rain today. Clouds had a whiteness that said don't even think about it. ~Craig Childs, Virga & Bone: Essays from Dry Places, 2019
The cloudlets are lazily sailing
O'er the blue Atlantic sea;
And mid the twilight there hovers
A shadowy figure o'er me...
~Heinrich Heine, translated from German into the original metre by Edgar Alfred Bowring
To the immortal Ruskin is due the awakened cloud consciousness of the last third of the century. He strove to arouse men from their artistic lethargy by pointing out the plethora of æsthetic wonders pervading nature's every work. He made cloud gazing a respectable avocation, not for the few but the many. ~G. Stanley Hall & J. E. W. Wallin, "How Children and Youth Think and Feel about Clouds," 1902
Foggy heavy-gray teary-eyed low-hanging
snow-stuffed melancholy winter clouds
Impulsive wayward turbulent thick-swift-dark
tempestuous hail-angered storm clouds
Sprinkling lighthearted fanciful breeze-drifted
rainbow-nestled April-hued springtime clouds
Enormous white-fluffy fairydust-fringed
frolicsome sun-illumed carefree summer clouds
Thunderous intense restless rain-soaked
lightning-streaked July-dyed monsoon clouds
Azure-skylit sunglow-slanted edge-gleaming
white-silver billowy contemplative autumn clouds
Vivid vibrant blissful dawn-lit joy-beamed
daybreak-florid sunrise-tinted morning clouds
Aimless airy midday-lazy wandering listless
mountaintop-floating leisurely afternoon clouds
Amber-ablaze day's-end-pink ephemeral-amethyst
evening-welcome smoky-embered sunset clouds
Lambent star-flanked luminous moon-halo'd
glowing shadow-painted skygazers' night clouds
~Terri Guillemets, "Sky-happy," 2007
The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil water-way leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky — seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. ~Joseph Conrad
Contentment in life, after all, is built upon our industry in learning to see things and to store the fancy with riches for times and seasons. The wealth gained from cloud-gazing, weather lore, wild flowers, the migrating birds — and, not least, the treasures of florists' windows and catalogues — cannot be stolen from us. ~Lena May McCauley, The Joy of Gardens, 1911
...the music of pure white clouds
fills the sky with sun-lined notes
drifting into beauty so vast
the blue never ends...
In their wretched abodes they may dwell the whole year through, ay, sometimes their whole lives through. Those who thus live and die never have a vision of golden harvests and lovely gardens and verdant fields and lanes crowded with ferns and mosses and vocal with the songs of birds. Hardly a single flower gladdens their sight; but even they may wistfully gaze up to the clouds which sweep over the sky, and may learn to hope and believe that there is something untainted by defilement, and for evermore beyond the reach of this world's misery and sin. ~Alfred Rowland, "The Clouds: God's Angels of the Sea," in The Sunday Magazine (London), 1884
And rather than forego the thought,
The feeling, ye supply,
As silently ye sail athwart
The blue, o'er-arching sky—
Be mine the faith the Indian finds,
Whom nature's night enshrouds,
Who yet can hear a God in winds,
And see Him in the clouds!
~Bernard Barton, "To the Clouds," Napoleon and Other Poems, 1822
Clouds are the sky's imagination. ~Terri Guillemets, "Imagine the Sky," 2003
Through sky half golden and half blue,
With white-rose cloudlets rippling through...
~W. T., "Honeymoon Cottage," Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts, 1862
When a Japanese says of one that there is "no tea" in him, it means that he is devoid of soul. When one has "too much tea" in him it means that he is accursed by an excess of what in the West is called "the artistic temperament": tangential, cloud-gazing, dream-drunk. ~Marian Cox, Ventures in Worlds, 1915
wisp, puff, swirl, glow, shine
float, shade, grow, gray, darken
break, open, release, rain, drench
wander, lighten, disperse, fade
~Terri Guillemets, "End scene," 2010
Swift-piling winter clouds blotted out the sun. ~Alice M. Colter
See yonder little cloud, that, borne aloft
So tenderly by the wind, floats fast away
Over the snowy peaks!
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend
Æthereal songster! companion of the sun,
The broad unbounded sky is all thine own;
So high 'mid soft clouds of floating silver,
Soaring merrily, echoing o'er the wood!
In glee I climb these cloud-gazing hills
To hear thy glad song, thy morning hymn!
~Thomas Miller, "To the Sky-Lark," 1836 [a little altered –tg]
I'm a silvery-lined cloud
Drifting slowly through deep blue
Glowing on the edges
Inside a rain-drenched hue
~Terri Guillemets, "Silver lining," 2011
O! it is pleasant, with a heart at ease,
Just after sunset, or by moonlight skies,
To make the shifting clouds be what you please...
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Fancy in Nubibus"
On the horizon a cloud of a peculiar shape may be seen banking itself up like a huge puff of steam. The thunder-cloud is a dense black, and forms overhead. If you watch it, you can see it growing like an army preparing for battle. ~William S. Walsh, "Lightning," A Handy Book of Curious Information, 1913
I love that no two cloud formations, since time began, have ever been the same. Each moment in time has created its own unique fingerprint. ~Keith Wynn, @ravens_rhapsody, tweet, 2017
Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in shape of a camel?...
Methinks it is like a weasel... Or like a whale.
~William Shakespeare, Hamlet, c.1600 [III, 2, Hamlet]
Cloud-gazing is a worthy distraction to occupy a few fragments of time. There is solid pleasure in letting our eyes lead fancy away among the mazes of cloud-land. Beautiful shapes float before our eyes — under our gaze they melt, and change, and recombine, with the limitless fancy of nature. What colours! — the softest, the sternest, the richest, the brightest — hues of lead, copper, silver, and gold. ~George Chaplin Child, M.D., Benedicite, 1866 [a little altered –tg]
Sometimes we see a cloud that's dragonish;
A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
A tower'd citadel, a pendent rock,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory
With trees upon't, that nod unto the world,
And mock our eyes with air...
~William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, c. 1606 [IV, 14, Antony]
The moon hung low in the sky like a yellow skull. From time to time a huge misshapen cloud stretched a long arm across and hid it. ~Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1890
Thick clouds, shaped like piles of cannon balls, have slowly peered up from behind the horizon, and rolled themselves hither and thither, spreading and gathering as they went. ~Caroline M. Kirkland, "June Twenty-Ninth, Eighteen Fifty-Nine," 1859
Here stretched, the pleasant turf I press,
In luxury of idleness;
Sun-streaks, and glancing wings, and sky
Spotted with cloud-shapes, charm my eye...
~Alfred B. Street, "A Forest Walk," 1839
The sky, a perfect empty canvas, offers clouds nonetheless. They shift and drift and beg interpretation... such is the nature of art. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson, tweet, 2009
Thick, threatening clouds, assembling soon,
Their dragon wings displayed;
Eclipsed the slow retiring moon,
And quenched the stars in shade.
~James Montgomery, "The Vigil of St. Mark," 1806
SOCRATES: Have you ever, when you looked up, seen a cloud like to a centaur, or a panther, or a wolf, or a bull? ~Aristophanes, The Clouds, translated by William James Hickie, 1905, from the revised text of Dindorf
When clouds appear like rocks and towers, the earth's refreshed by frequent showers. ~Old weather saying
So we sometimes espy a bright cloud formed into an irregular figure; when it is observed by unskilful and phantastic travellers, it looks like a centaur to some, and as a castle to others: some tell that they saw an army with banners, and it signifies war; but another, wiser than his fellow, says it looks for all the world like a flock of sheep, and foretells plenty; and all the while it is nothing but a shining cloud, by its own mobility and the activity of a wind cast into a contingent and inartificial shape. ~Jeremy Taylor
Last saved 2022 Sep 22 Thu 11:09 PDT