…from the quills of the dead white poets
John Donne (1573 – 1631)
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
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow;
And sooner our best men with thee go -
Rest of their bones, and souls’ 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!