Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE HERMIT-THRUSH


 

OVER the tops of the trees,
     And over the shallow stream,
The shepherd of sunset frees
     The amber phantoms of dream.
The time is the time of vision;
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     The hour is the hour of calm;
Hark! On the stillness Elysian
     Breaks how divine a psalm!
          Oh, clear in the sphere of the air,
               Clear, clear, tender and far,
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          Our aspiration of prayer
               Unto eve's clear star!

O singer serene, secure!
     From thy throat of silver and dew
What transport lonely and pure,

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     Unchanging, endlessly new,—
An unremembrance of mirth,
     And a contemplation of tears,
As if the musing of earth
     Communed with the dreams of the years!
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          Oh, clear in the sphere of the air,
               Clear, clear, tender and far,
          Our aspiration of prayer
               Unto eve's clear star!

O cloistral ecstatic! thy cell

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     In the cool green aisles of the leaves
Is the shrine of a power by whose spell
     Whoso hears aspires and believes!
O hermit of evening! thine hour
     Is the sacrament of desire,
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When love hath a heavenlier flower,
     And passion a holier fire!
          Oh, clear in the sphere of the air,
              Clear, clear, tender and far,
          Our aspiration of prayer
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               Unto eve's clear star!