John Berryman

Our Sunday morning when dawn-priests were applying

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Our Sunday morning when dawn-priests were applying
Wafer and wine to the human wound, we laid
Ourselves to cure ourselves down: I'm afriad
Our vestments wanted, but Francis' friends were crying
In the nave of pines, sun-satisfied, and flying
Subtle as angels about the barricade
Boughs made over us, deep in a bed half made
Needle-soft, half the sea of our simultaneous dying.

'Death is the mother of beauty.' Awry no leaf
Shivering with delight, we die to be well..
Careless with sleepy love, so long unloving.
What if our convalescence must be bried
As we are, the matin meet the passing bell?..
About our pines our sister, wind, is moving.

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John Berryman