Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts




THROUGH the still dusk how sighs the ebb-tide out
     Reluctant for the reed-beds! Down the sands
     It washes. Hark! Beyond the wan grey strand's
Low limits how the winding channels grieve,
Aware the evasive waters soon will leave

     Them void amid the waste of desolate lands,
     Where shadowless to the sky the marsh expands,
And the noon heats must scar them, and the drought.

Yet soon for them the solacing tide returns
     To quench their thirst of longing. Ah, not so

Works the stern law our tides of life obey!
Ebbing in the night watches swift away,
     Scarce known are fled for ever is the flow;
And in parched channel still the shrunk stream mourns.