Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




STUMPS, and harsh rocks, and prostrate trunks all charred,
     And gnarled roots naked to the sun and rain,—
     They seem in their grim stillness to complain,
And by their plaint the evening peace is jarred.
These ragged acres fire and the axe have scarred,

     And many summers not assuaged their pain.
     In vain the pink and saffron light, in vain
The pale dew on the hillocks stripped and marred!

But here and there the waste is touched with cheer
     Where spreads the fire-weed like a crimson flood

     And venturous plumes of golden-rod appear;
And round the blackened fence the great boughs lean
With comfort; and across the solitude
     The hermit's holy transport peals serene.