“A Responsory, 1948”

Suppose the dead could crown their wit

With some intemperate exercise,

Spring wine from their ivory

Or roses from their eyes?

Or if the wise would understand

And the world without heart

That the dead are not yet dead

And that the living live apart

And the Wounded are healing,

Though in a place of flame.

The sick in a great ship

Are riding. They are riding home.

                                             Merton

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