‘[I]t were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower—and this is the burden of the curse of Babel.’ Thus the poet Percy Shelley describes ‘the vanity of translation’ in the case, at least, of ‘the creations of a poet’. This chapter will discuss how Shelley’s stated views on translation can be reconciled with his own attempts at translating Plato’s Symposium and Ion, along with selections from the same writer’s Menexenus, Republic, and Crito. It will begin by emphasising Shelley’s description of Plato as, indeed, a poet and thus the necessity of confronting Shelley’s negative estimation of the translation of poetry in the case of his own translations; comparison with Shelley’s translations of writers whom he didn’t explicitly envisage as ‘poets’ (Spinoza, Tacitus) will be instructive here. It will also seek to understand Shelley’s antipathy to ‘translation’ and its sources, before setting out in detail the consequences of his insistence that in rendering an original work in another language ‘[t]he plant must spring again from its seed’. The discussion will, of course, be exemplified by detailed reference to Shelley’s versions of Plato and, by frequent recourse to his drafts, their genesis.