By Wilfred Owen
Between the brown hands of a server-lad
The silver cross was offered to be kissed.
The men came up, lugubrious, but not sad,
And knelt reluctantly, half-prejudiced.
(And kissing, kissed the emblem of a creed.)
Then mourning women knelt; meek mouths they had’
(And kissed the body of the Christ indeed.)
Young children came, with eager lips and glad.
(These kissed a silver doll, imensely bright.)
Then I, too, knelt before that acolyte.
Above the crucifix I bent my head:
The Christ was thin, and cold, and very dead:
And yet I bowed, yea kissed – my lips did cling
(I kissed the warm live hand that held the thing.)