He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying

from T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land on Rap Genius

Meaning

He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying

Alluding once again to myths of death and rebirth, Eliot ironically reverses the famous proclamation from The Bible:
In Luke, 15:24:

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (Luke 15:24)

This passage also contains echoes of Revelation 1:18:

And alive, and was dead, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell. (Douay-Rheims Bible)

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