John Donne


That I might make your cabinet my tomb,
    And for my fame, which I love next my soul,
Next to my soul provide the happiest room,
    Admit to that place this last funeral scroll.
        Others by wills give legacies, but I
        Dying, of you do beg a legacy.

My fortune and my will this custom break,
When we are senseless grown to make stones speak,
Though no stone tell thee what I was, yet thou
In my grave's inside seest what thou art now,
Yet thou 'rt not yet so good ;  till death us lay
To ripe and mellow there, we're stubborn clay.
Parents make us earth, and souls dignify
Us to be glass ;  here to grow gold we lie.
Whilst in our souls sin bred and pamper'd is,
Our souls become worm-eaten carcases.


Source :
Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol II.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 101.

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