Out of the Dust

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Out of the dust of all the past I came: My body is compact of memoriesOf other lives in other forms than this, And I am kin to birds and beasts and trees.

Out of the dust of fairer things I came -- Some ancient flower whose name we do not know,Some fallen tree that saw strange altars lit With sacrificial fires of long ago.

Some humble moth that scorned the candle's flame And dared to set the far-off moon its goal,Has left to me the lure of moonlit skies And all the futile yearning of its soul.

And what is now my heart was once a shell Upon the sands and heard the sea complainFrom hour to hour in murmurous monotone, And holds remembrance of its ageless pain.

Unto the dust I shall again return, Even as the faded flower, the fallen tree,The moth that faltered in its moon-ward flight, The shell that crumbled by the plangent sea.

© Woodrow Constance