Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




ITS hand compassionate guards our restless sight
     Against how many a harshness, many an ill!
     Tender as sleep, its shadowy palms distil
Weird vapours that ensnare our eyes with light.
Rash eyes, kept ignorant in their own despite,

     It lets not see the unsightliness they will,
     But paints each scanty fairness fairer still,
And still deludes us to our own delight.

It fades, regathers, never quite dissolves.
     And, ah! that life, ah! that the heart and brain

     Might keep their mist and glamour, not to know
So soon the disenchantment and the pain!
     But one by one our dear illusions go,
     Stript and cast forth as time's slow wheel revolves.