Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




THIS is a wonder-cup in Summer's hand.
     Sombre, impenetrable, round its rim
     The fir-trees bend and brood. The noons o'erbrim
The windless hollow of its iris'd strand
With mote-thick sun and water-breathings bland.

     Under a veil of lilies lurk and swim
     Strange shapes of presage in a twilight dim,
Unwitting heirs of light and life's command.

Blind in their bondage, of no change they dream,
     But the trees watch in grave expectancy

     The spell fulfils,—and swarms of radiant flame,
Live jewels, above the crystal dart and gleam,
     Nor guess the sheen beneath their wings to be
     The dark and narrow regions whence they came.