John Donne (1572-1631)
Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud
1 Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
2 Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
3 For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
4 Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
5 From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
6 Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
7 And soonest our best men with thee do go,
8 Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
9 Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
10 And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
11 And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
12 And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
13 One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
14 And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
Nice random YouTube video of Thompson’s version, compiled by Daniel Andrade