I hold that when a person dies
His soul returns again to earth;
Arrayed in some new flesh-disguise,
Another mother gives him birth.
With sturdier limbs and brighter brain
The old soul takes the road again.
Such is my own belief and trust;
This hand, this hand that holds the pen
Has many a hundred times been dust
And turned, as dust to dust again;
These eyes of mine have blinked and shone
In Thebes, in Troy, in Babylon....
—John Masefield (from A Creed)