Thursday, February 15, 2007

Worse than death? VI

Death be not proud.
This series has reflected on the secondary nature of death as an opponent of God and humanity. Death is part of the problem with the world and will not last into God's coming age. Through Christ's death, we are freed from slavery to the fear of death (Hebrews 2.14-15) and so can face the reality of our own mortality with confidence in the God who raises the dead. It is this eschatological confidence in God's future that is so famously and so well expressed by Donne:

DEATH be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, 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 soules 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 then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

- John Donne

Series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI.
Ten points for most creative theory on what prompted the stone age constructions that have featured in this series .


Matthew Moffitt said...

The Great Neolithic drought prompted the government of the day, quite controversially it might be said, to build a desalination plaint in a strong opposition-held seat.

Anthony Douglas said...

Easy - this was an early game of dominoes, before the technology of miniaturisation kicked in - also known these days as Less' Law, the (aptly) less well known corollary to Moore's Law.

Drew said...

They are the knobs for when the gods wanted to turn up the air conditioning. the run down state of these explains all that global warming guff...

Does't Terry Pratchett have them as computers? A distant ancestor of the 486 DX :)

AndrewE said...

I recently re-wrote (and murdered) this Sonnet at a fortieth birthday party. Here it is:

Middle-age be not proud, though some have called thee
Boring and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Live on, poor middle-age, nor yet canst thou finish me.
Though from teenage-children and protracted-study,
which but thy accompaniments be,
Much pain; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best women with thee do go,
Ageth their bones and sloweth recovery.
Yet thou art slave to economics, school fees, and unusual men,
And doth with mortgages and dental bills dwell;
And poppy or drugs can lend a hand quite well,
And daint’ly parry thy blows; why swell’st thou then?
A few short years past and we are elderly,
And middle-age shall be no more; Forty, thou shalt die.

byron smith said...

Wow - keep those suggestions coming in. I think we're going to need more than just a first prize for this one! I'll make a call by the end of the weekend.

Anonymous said...

If death be not proud then neither we. For the sleep to which we go is the twice gift of the one to whom and through whom all things are made.

byron smith said...

I'm going to give ten points to Moffitt for being so timely, and five to Anthony, Drew and Andrewe (a great poem Erro, but since it was a re-hash, this disqualified you from first prize). There may be more points for other creative theories in future too.

Matthew Moffitt said...

Score! Thanks Byron.

peter j said...

Two words: Jumbo croquet!

byron smith said...

Peter: two words - five points. Very nice. Are you Peter J, or is this a different Peter? I'll assume a different one unless corrected.