Tuesday, April 01, 2008

My Belated Easter Proclamation

This is overdue. I only recently realized that I had filed this in "draft" and had not posted it. But as I am an observer of the Great 50 days, it is not too late to resurrect it.

John Donne, for all his complexity, magisterially got one of the great points of Easter in his sonnet (called "Sonnet X" or "Death, Be Not Proud") which follows.

All blessings be to the Lamb who, though he died, yet lives! "And what does this mean?" Read on:

Death, Be Not Proud
-- John Donne
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; then 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.

Amen!

2 comments:

-C said...

Overdue? Well, that all depends ...

A wonderful post! Thanks.

Wollom said...

Dwight, Once again you've gotten it right! Monday, March 31 marks the day of commemoration of John Donne, poet (1631). He was truly one of the great poets of the English language and amid his complexity one of the insightful prophets who mastered the art of forthtelling. What greater proclamation of Easter could be made than, "Death, be not proud for you shall die." Resurrectionem tuam, laudamus Domine!