Poet: John Donne
Dates: 22 January 1572 – 31 March 1631
Title: Holy Sonnet X:Death be not proud
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 yet thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more, must low
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.
Brief Biography: Donne was a satirist, lawyer and cleric as well as a poet. He is considered to be one of the pre-eminent metaphysical poets and his poetry is noted ofr it strong, sensual style. An Anglican priest, Donne, served as the Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in London and also as a member of parliament.