Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




A BROWN, sad-coloured hillside, where the soil
     Fresh from the frequent harrow, deep and fine,
     Lies bare; no break in the remote sky-line,
Save where a flock of pigeons streams aloft,
Startled from feed in some low-lying croft,

     Or far-off spires with yellow of sunset shine;
     And here the Sower, unwittingly divine,
Exerts the silent forethought of his toil.

Alone he treads the glebe, his measured stride
     Dumb in the yielding soil; and though small joy

     Dwell in his heavy face, as spreads the blind
Pale grain from his dispensing palm aside,
     This plodding churl grows great in his employ;—
     Godlike, he makes provision for mankind.