Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




THERE lies a little city leagues away.
     Its wharves the green sea washes all day long.
     Its busy, sun-bright wharves with sailors' song
And clamour of trade ring loud the live-long day.
Into the happy harbour hastening, gay

     With press of snowy canvas, tall ships throng.
     The peopled streets to blithe-eyed Peace belong,
Glad housed beneath these crowding roofs of grey.

'Twas long ago this city prospered so,
     For yesterday a woman died therein.

Since when the wharves are idle fallen, I know,
     And in the streets is hushed the pleasant din;
     The thronging ships have been, the songs have been;—
Since yesterday it is so long ago.