Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou are 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.

This poem is in the public domain.

Sweetest love, I do not go,
        For weariness of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
        A fitter love for me;
              But since that I
Must die at last, ’tis best
To use myself in jest
        Thus by feign’d deaths to die.

Yesternight the sun went hence,
        And yet is here today;
He hath no desire nor sense,
        Nor half so short a way:
              Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take
        More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man’s power,
        That if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
        Nor a lost hour recall!
              But come bad chance,
And we join to it our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
        Itself o’er us to advance.

When thou sigh’st, thou sigh’st not wind,
        But sigh’st my soul away;
When thou weep’st, unkindly kind,
        My life’s blood doth decay.
              It cannot be
That thou lov’st me, as thou say’st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
        That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart
        Forethink me any ill;
Destiny may take thy part,
        And may thy fears fulfil;
              But think that we
Are but turn’d aside to sleep;
They who one another keep
        Alive, ne’er parted be.

This poem is in the public domain.