John Donne

thou hast made me; and shall thy work decay?
repair me now, for now mine end doth haste;
i run to death, and death meets me as fast,
and all my pleasures are like yesterday.
i dare not move my dim eyes any way;
despair behind, and death before doth cast
such terror, and my feeble flesh doth waste
by sin in it, which it towards hell doth weigh.
only thou are above, and when towards thee
by thy leave i can look, i rise again;
but our old subtle foe so tempteth me
that not one hour myself i can sustain.
thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
and thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

this is my play's last scene; here heavens appoint
my pilgrimage's last mile; and my race,
idly yet quickly run, hath this last pace;
my span's last inch, my minutes' latest point;
and gluttonous death will instantly unjoint
my body and my soul, and i shall sleep a space;
but my ever-waking part shall see that face
whose fear already shakes my every joint.
then as my soul to heaven, her first seat, takes flight,
and earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,
so fall my sins, that all may have their right,
to where they are bred, and would press me,--to hell.
impute me righteous, thus purged of evil,
for thus i leave the world, the flesh, the devil.

at the round earth's imagined corner, blow
your trumpets, angels; and arise, arise
from death, you numberless infinities
of souls, and to your scattered bodies go;
all whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
all whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
despair, law, chance, hath slain, and you whose eyes
shall behold god and never taste death's woe.
but let them sleep, lord, and me mourn a space,
for if above all these my sins abound,
'tis late to ask abundance of thy grace
when we are there; here on this lowly ground
teach me how to repent; for that's as good
as if thou hadst sealed my pardon with thy blood.


Gwangju, Korea

Photographer(s) unknown.


David Levinthal

Modern romance.

The valley of death

roger fenton, the valley of the shadow of death, 1855

theirs not to make reply,
theirs not to reason why
theirs but to do and die.
into the valley of death
rode the six hundred.

lord tennyson alfred, "the charge of the light brigade", 1870