Friday, January 6, 2012

Death Be Not Proud

It seems that we have been going through a season of deaths and serious illnesses among people we know, some sudden and unexpected, some expected but deeply felt nonetheless. This blog is for Stewart and Scott and Steve and Emily's dad who either passed away recently or are at death's door and for their families and loved ones. Becky and I pray for peace, feeling the love and support of family and friends and hope and healing for all those who suffer this pain.

At the same time, there have been joys, healings and fortuitous events among people we know. Our young friend Matt returned home from his second tour of Afghanistan this past week. His wife is expecting their first child. We rejoice with those who have had births in their family and with those who are anticipating such a happy event. There have been miraculous healings and other answers to prayers.

So, for those who grieve and for those who suffer, this poem by John Donne from the seventeenth century. This  sonnet is very dense, but Biscuit City readers are intelligent as well as good-looking so I know you will appreciate Dr. Donne’s effort:

Death Be Not Proud

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.

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