Death Be Not Proud

  • Journalist Johnny Gunther

American Journalist Johnny Gunther wrote an account of his young son's (also named Johnny) death, he died at the age of 17, in 1947, and his father's book became a best-seller. The book title is from a meditative sonnet by poet John Donne. 

Donne having survived a serious illness wrote the sonnet to tell Death that, mighty though it be, it still had to suffer fate and chance like any other thing - and it had missed it's chance with Donne.

"Holy Sonnet X"

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and souls deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse 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.