Metempsychosis, from The Graveyard Suite
by Odell Shepard, read by John Shepard
On either side the dead men lay,
Each with his lettered stone,
All deaf an blind and clogged with clay,
While I strode on alone.
The morning had no song, no word
For those dull sleepers now,
And oh! they could not hear the bird
That warbled from the bough.
They could not feel the wind go by,
Nor see the elm trees bowed
Before the wind against a sky
Deepened by fleets of cloud.
But suddenly along my veins
I felt the strength of ten.
Old loves and lusts and deathless pains
Of all those buried men,
Old dreams and unassuaged desires
Death-frosted in the bud,
Swept through me, and long-sleeping fires
Woke riot in my blood.
I laughed, I sang, I clasped a tree,
I gulped the air, I drew
The breath of heaven into me,
I drank the morning's blue.
Then all at once down the long hill
My feet began to run
For love of those that lay so still
And could not feel the sun.