Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Death, be not proud by John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called 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 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.

Second Take: As far as spiritual or metaphysical poems go, the 14-line sonnet Death, be not proud (1633) by John Donne is my favourite. The English poet is saying pretty much what every religion preaches — in death, only the body dies and not the soul. The soul — or the Atman, the Eternal Self, in Hindu philosophy — is the essence of existence and is as free as a soaring eagle under a clear blue sky.

No comments:

Post a Comment