Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Elizabethan Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Elizabethan Verse.  1907.
 
Death, Be Not Proud
By John Donne (1572–1631)
 
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 but thy picture be,        5
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow:
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and souls’ delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,        10
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.
 
 
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