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Death be not proud, though some have...

Language: English

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]1 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.

Translation(s): FRE GER ITA

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View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bennett: "nor canst thou yet"

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , title 1: "Non esser fiera, Morte", copyright © 2008, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2010, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (Bertram Kottmann) , title 1: "Sonett über den Tod", copyright © 2013, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:26
Line count: 14
Word count: 123

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Mort ne soit pas fière, bien que...

Language: French (Français) after the English

Mort ne soit pas fière, bien que certains t'ai appelée
Puissante et épouvantable, car tu n'es pas ainsi,
Car ceux que tu penses que tu dois vaincre,
Ne meurent pas, pauvre mort, et tu ne peux pas me tuer.
Du repos et du sommeil, qui ne sont que des images de toi,
On a beaucoup de plaisir ; alors de toi, beaucoup plus doit couler,
Et dès que nos meilleurs hommes vont avec toi,
Arrivent le repos de leurs os, et la délivrance de l'âme.
Tu es l'esclave du destin, du sort, des rois et des hommes désespérés,
Et tu demeures avec le poison, la guerre et la maladie,
Et le pavot, ou les charmes peuvent aussi bien nous faire dormir
Et mieux que ton coup ; pourquoi te gonfles-tu d'orgueil alors ?
Un court sommeil passé, nous sommes éveillés éternellement,
Et la mort ne sera plus ; Mort, tu mourras.

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About the headline (FAQ)


  • Translation from English to French (Français) copyright © 2010 by Guy Laffaille, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you may ask the copyright-holder(s) directly or ask us; we are authorized to grant permission on their behalf. Please provide the translator's name when contacting us.


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Based on
  • a text in English by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 10 GER ITA
      • This text was set to music by the following composer(s): Atli Heimir Sveinsson, Richard Rodney Bennett, Benjamin Britten, Mervyn Burtch, Donald Busarow, Leslie Crabtree, Olivier Greif, Juliana Hall, Fenno Heath, Donald Martin Jenni, Dorian Le Gallienne, Douglas Stuart Moore, William Brocklesby Wordsworth. Go to the text.


Text added to the website: 2010-08-01.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:54
Line count: 14
Word count: 151