by John Donne (1572 - 1631)
Translation © by Guy Laffaille

Death be not proud, though some have...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE GER GER ITA
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.

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1 Bennett: "nor canst thou yet"


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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 14
Word count: 123

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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  • 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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This text was added to the website: 2010-08-01
Line count: 14
Word count: 151