Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




THIS is the voice of high midsummer's heat.
     The rasping vibrant clamour soars and shrills
     O'er all the meadowy range of shadeless hills,
As if a host of giant cicadae beat
The cymbals of their wings with tireless feet,
     Or brazen grasshoppers with triumphing note
     From the long swath proclaimed the fate that smote
The clover and timothy-tops and meadowsweet.
The crying knives glide on; the green swath lies.
     And all noon long the sun, with chemic ray,
     Seals up each cordial essence in its cell,
That in the dusky stalls, some winter's day,
     The spirit of June, here prisoned by his spell,
     May cheer the herds with pasture memories.