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Death be not proud, though some have called thee (1945)


Part of a series or song cycle:

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne (Op. 35)


Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for thou art not soe,
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do goe,
Rest of their bones, and souls deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sickness 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.

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Composer

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten (22 November 1913 – 4 December 1976) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

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Poet

John Donne was an English poet and cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets.

He studied at Hart Hall, Oxford, which is now Hertford College, best known for its iconic Hertford Bridge, or 'Bridge of Sighs'.

You can read more about him here, and read some of his poetry here.


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