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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

Death, Be Not Proud

John Donne (1572–1631)

DEATH, be not proud, though some have callèd thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy picture be,

Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow:

And soonest our best men with thee do go,

Rest of their bones, and souls’ delivery.

Thou art slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,

And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou, then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And Death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.