Out of the Dust

Original Text: 
Constance Davies Woodrow, The Celtic Heart (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1929): 51-52. PS 8545O62C4 Robarts Library
1Out of the dust of all the past I came:
2     My body is compact of memories
3Of other lives in other forms than this,
4     And I am kin to birds and beasts and trees.
5Out of the dust of fairer things I came --
6     Some ancient flower whose name we do not know,
7Some fallen tree that saw strange altars lit
8     With sacrificial fires of long ago.
9Some humble moth that scorned the candle's flame
10     And dared to set the far-off moon its goal,
11Has left to me the lure of moonlit skies
12     And all the futile yearning of its soul.
13And what is now my heart was once a shell
14     Upon the sands and heard the sea complain
15From hour to hour in murmurous monotone,
16     And holds remembrance of its ageless pain.
17Unto the dust I shall again return,
18     Even as the faded flower, the fallen tree,
19The moth that faltered in its moon-ward flight,
20     The shell that crumbled by the plangent sea.
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: