Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




ON other fields and other scenes the morn
     Laughs form her blue,—but not such fields are these,
     Where comes no cheer of summer leaves and bees,
And no shade mitigates the day's white scorn.
These serious acres vast no groves adorn;

     But giant trunks, bleak shapes that once were trees,
     Tower naked, unassuaged of rain or breeze,
Their stern grey isolation grimly borne.

The months roll over them, and mark no change.
     But when Spring stirs, or Autumn stills, the year,

     Perchance some phantom leafage rustles faint
Through their parched dreams,—some old-time notes ring strange,
     When in his slender treble, far and clear,
Reiterates the rain-bird his complaint.