I lay in the tepid mud
Grey-drab, bubbling here and there with steam,
Rebellious, derisive of my creator's
I would be the sport no longer
Of his bovine essays in creation!
The other cells,
Ere they dissolved meekly back
Tried, at my effrontery
To develop shocked hands
That they might hold them up protesting.
I laughed cells' laughter
And said; " I am life; see me live,"
I died laughing.
I was the creeping things
Slime-tracking the thundered on
[ . . . ]
Sherard Vines' poem "Elan Vital" was published in the 1919 "cycle" of Wheels. To read this poem in full in a digitized version of this publication, follow the link(s) below: