Holy Sonnets by John Donnes
John Donne (1572 March 31, 1631) was a Jacobean poet and preacher, representative of the metaphysical poets of the period. His works, notable for their realistic and sensual style, include sonnets, love poetry, religious poems, Latin translations, epigrams, elegies, songs, satires and sermons. His poetry is noted for its vibrancy of language and immediacy of metaphor, compared with that of his contemporaries.
Towards the end of his life Donne wrote works that challenged death, and the fear that it inspired in many men, on the grounds of his belief that those who die are sent to Heaven to live eternally. One example of this challenge is his Holy Sonnet X, from which come the famous lines Death, be not proud, though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so. Summary from wikipedia
Holy Sonnet I Thou hast made me, and shall Thy work decay?
Holy Sonnet II As due by many titles I resign my self to Thee
Holy Sonnet III O might those sighs and tears return again
Holy Sonnet IV Oh my black soul! now art thou summoned
Holy Sonnet V I am a little world made cunningly
Holy Sonnet VI This is my plays last scene
Holy Sonnet VII At the round earths imagind corners
Holy Sonnet VIII If faithful angels be alike glorified
Holy Sonnet IX If poisonous minerals 01:12
Holy Sonnet X Death, be not proud
Holy Sonnet XI Spit in my face you Jews 01:16
Holy Sonnet XII Why are we by all creatures waited on?
Holy Sonnet XIII What if this present were the worlds last night?
Holy Sonnet XIV Batter my heart, three-personed God
Holy Sonnet XV Wilt thou love God, as he thee? 01:16
Holy Sonnet XVI Father, part of his double interest
Holy Sonnet XVII Since she whom I loved hath paid her last debt
Holy Sonnet XVIII Show me dear Christ, thy spouse so bright and clear
Holy Sonnet XIX Oh, to vex me, contraries meet in one 01:14
Read by David Barnes
Approx. Playing time: 23 minutes
Death Be Not Proud
by John Donne
DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.