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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.
About the headline (FAQ)View original text (without footnotes)
1 Bennett: "nor canst thou yet"
- by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 10 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Atli Heimir Sveinsson (b. 1938), "Death, be not proud", 1978, published c1980 [mixed chorus a cappella], from Two Elegies in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, for mixed choir, no. 1, Reykjavik : Islenzk Tónverkamidstód [text not verified]
- by Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012), "Death be not proud", from Tenebrae, no. 5. [text verified 1 time]
- by (Edward) Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), "Death be not proud", op. 35 no. 9 (1945), published c1946 [high voice and piano], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne, no. 9. [text verified 1 time]
- by Mervyn Burtch (b. 1929), "Death be not proud", published 1976 [four-part mixed chorus a cappella], from Three Sonnets of John Donne [text not verified]
- by Donald Busarow (b. 1934), "Death, be not proud", 1979 [soprano, horn, and piano], IHS Manuscript Press [text not verified]
- by Leslie Crabtree (b. 1941), "Death be not proud", 2004. [vocal duet with piano] [text not verified]
- by Olivier Greif (1950 - 2000), "Death be not proud", op. 310 no. 3 (1995) [voice and piano], from Les chants de l'âme, no. 3. [text not verified]
- by Juliana Hall , "Death be not proud", 2013, first performed 2014 [tenor and piano], from The Holy Sonnets of John Donne - 9 Songs for Tenor and Piano, no. 9. [text verified 1 time]
- by Fenno Heath , "Death be not proud", 1963. [four-part men's chorus a cappella] [text not verified]
- by Donald Martin Jenni (1937 - 2006), "Death be not proud", 1975. [four-part mixed chorus with chimes and piano] [text not verified]
- by Dorian Le Gallienne (1915 - 1963), "Death be not proud", published 1967, from Four Divine Poems of John Donne [text not verified]
- by Douglas Stuart Moore (1893 - 1969), "Death be not proud", published 1944 [high voice and piano], from Three Sonnets of John Donne Set to Music [text not verified]
- by William Brocklesby Wordsworth (1908 - 1988), "Death be not proud", 1944, published 1946, from Four Sacred Sonnets [text not verified]
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
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
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
Sei nicht vermessen, Tod, wenngleich man dich gewaltig, furchtbar nennt: dies bist du nicht! Denn jene, die anscheinend du zerbrichst, bestehen fort, geradeso wie ich. Ruhe und Schlaf, die Sinnbild dir allein, tun wohl - noch größ're Labung kommt von dir: auf dass die Besten von uns gehn mit dir, um Leib und Seel vom Diesseits zu befrein. Du bist des Schicksals, Zufalls, Königs Knecht und gehst mit Gift und Krieg und Krankheit um, ist nicht auch Schlafmohn ein Narkotikum und besser als dein Hieb - wie dann dein Recht? Nach kurzem Schlaf ist unser Auferstehn; kein Tod wird dann mehr sein - Tod, Du musst gehn.
- Singable translation from English to German (Deutsch) copyright © 2013 by Bertram Kottmann, (re)printed on this website with kind permission. To reprint and distribute this author's work for concert programs, CD booklets, etc., you must ask the copyright-holder(s) directly for permission. If you receive no response, you must consider it a refusal.
Bertram Kottmann.  Contact: BKottmann (AT) t-online.deIf you wish to commission a new translation, please contact:
- a text in English by John Donne (1572 - 1631), no title, appears in Holy Sonnets, no. 10
Text added to the website: 2013-09-10 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:05:19
Line count: 14
Word count: 107