Songs of the Common Day, and Ave!

An Ode for the Shelley Centenary

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

THE NIGHT-HAWK


 

WHEN frogs make merry the pools of May,
                    And sweet, oh sweet,
                    Through the twilight dim
                    Is the vesper hymn
Their myriad pipes repeat
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    As the rose-dusk dies away.
    Then hark, the night-hawk!
        (For now is the elfin hour.)
    With melting skies o'er him,
    All summer before him,
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    His wild brown mate to adore him,
        By the spell of his power
        He summons the apples in flower.

In the high pale heaven he flits and calls;
                    Then swift, oh swift,

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                    On sounding wing
                    That hums like a string,
To the quiet glades where the gnat-clouds drift
    And the night-moths flicker, he falls.
    Then hark, the night-hawk!
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        (For now is the elfin hour.)
    With melting skies o'er him,
    All summer before him,
    His wild brown mate to adore him,
        By the spell of his power
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        He summons the apples in flower.