Constance Woodrow (1899-1937)
Out of the Dust
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.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Constance Davies Woodrow, The Celtic Heart
(Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1929): 51-52. PS 8545O62C4 Robarts Library
First publication date:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/23
Other poems by Constance Woodrow