Death, be not proud, though some have called theeI'd often heard the line "Death, be not proud" tossed off but I'd never read the poem. In context, it is very powerful. I especially like "From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be, much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow". It reminds me of what a natural process death is. That might sound perverse or silly of me to have lost that connection but I had. And it was nice to have it restored, especially with Donne's further reminder that death has no power over us ultimately.
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.
John Donne (1572–1631)