Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

EPITAPH FOR A SAILOR BURIED ASHORE


 

HE who but yesterday would roam
     Careless as clouds and currents range,
In homeless wandering most at home,
     Inhabiter of change;

Who wooed the west to win the east,

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     And named the stars of North and South,
And felt the zest of Freedom's feast
     Familiar in his mouth;

Who found a faith in stranger-speech,    
     And fellowship in foreign hands,

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And had within his eager reach
     The relish of all lands—

How circumscribed a plot of earth
     Keeps now his restless footsteps still,
Whose wish was wide as ocean's girth,

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     Whose will the water's will!