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John Donne, image care of Wikimedia Commons.

Welcome back to the bar! I hope you all had a lovely time with all the decorations here for Halloween last week. We’re following up the magic of Shakespeare’s words last week with something of a slightly different fare – a sonnet by the talented “metaphysical poet” John Donne.

Donne is most known for his romantic (might I add, sexually charged) and religious poetry, which have inspired writers for centuries since their original publication, as is the case with this – Holy Sonnet X. While the title might not strike you, its opening line undoubtedly will: “Death be not proud,” words that have echoed through the literary psyche ever since.

~Chris Galford

Holy Sonnet X

Death be not proud, though some have callèd 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 than thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.

~John Donne