Death, be not proud (Holy Sonnet 10)

 

by John Donne

 

 
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
 
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are 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 pictures be,
 
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
 
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
 
Rest of their bones, and soul's 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.