death be not proud – the easter victory
HOLY SONNET X
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 picture[s] 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’rt 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.
John Donne (1572-1631)
John Donne profoundly captured the true victory of Easter – 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Check out this website devoted to John Donne - full of great stuff as well as all his works. It is part of a wonderful site, Luminarium, dedicated to religious writing from the English Renaissance (including Cranmer, Tyndale, Donne & Herbert et al)