Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Donne: Death, be not proud

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
    I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
    —Philippians 1:20-21 (NIV)
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 pictures be,
Much pleasure, than from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art 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 (1573-1631), Works of John Donne, vol. VI, London: John W. Parker, 1839, Holy Sonnets, XII, p. 448 (see the book)
    See also Phil. 1:20-24; Rom. 14:7-8; 1 Cor. 15:26; 1 Thess. 4:16; 2 Tim. 1:10; Rev. 14:13
Quiet time reflection:
    My life and my death are in Your hands, Blessed Lord.

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