Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE AUTUMN THISTLES


 

THE morning sky is white with mist, the earth
     White with the inspiration of the dew.
     The harvest light is on the hills anew,
And cheer in the grave acres' fruitful girth.
Only in this high pasture is there dearth,
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     Where the gray thistles crowd in ranks austere,
     As if the sod, close-cropt for many a year,
Brought only bane and bitterness to birth.

But in the crisp air's amethystine wave
     How the harsh stalks are washed with radiance now,

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     How gleams the harsh turf where the crickets lie
Dew-freshened in their burnished armour brave!
     Since earth could not endure nor heaven allow
     Aught of unlovely in the morn's clear eye.