John Donne, one of the greatest of the Jacobean poets, was the carnal, devout, intense Dean of St. Paul's. Of Deathwhether in his famous "For-whom-the-bell-tolls" sermon, or in many poems of which this one (reprinted from Reader's Companion, edited by Louis KronenbergerViking, $2) is a-distinguished examplehe wrote with solemn grandeur, and a consoling lack of fear.
"DEATH, BE NOT PROUD"
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, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure, then from...