Monk in Auschwitz 19

Seen at Auschwitz

Thomas was seen at Auschwitz
Standing by guiltily
As brides were being led to altars
Where nuptials were taking place
And he, on being left outside the flow,
Stood clutching the wire
Looking at the snow on which
The brides' barefeet had trodden,
Determined to follow.

Now he was seeing those feet in snow
On a high mountain far off
And the brides coming to take him
To his chamber of fire
From which they would lead him
Into the blazing splendor
Of the wedding with the Bridegroom
To be the Brother Betrothed—
For he had come to know
The God of the Burnt Brides.
The circumstances surrounding Merton's death are ambiguous. In 1968 he received permission from
his abbot to travel to the Far East. While there he was received by the Dalai Lama at Dharamsala in
the Himalayas. Then he travelled on to Bangkok to participate in a religious conference. It was
there, shortly after he had delivered a speech, that he was found dead in his hotel room, apparently
electrocuted after having touched a faulty fan.