Monday, April 04, 2005

Death Be Not Proud

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
-John Donne

A fitting reminder of the Resurrection following the passing of Mrs. Schiavo and John Paul II.

Not that I'm in imminent danger of death, but I've fancied having this read at my wake. I do worry that the second-to-last line adumbrates the Protestant doctrine of soul-sleep, though I can interpret it so as to mean that simply our body is asleep.

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