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Just Passing

“We are all conceived in close prison; in our mothers’ wombs, we are close prisoners all; when we are born, we are born but to the liberty of the house; prisoners still, though within larger walls: and then all our life is but a going out to the place of execution, to death.

Now was there ever any man seen to sleep in the cart, between Newgate, and Tyburn? Between the prison, and the place of execution, does any man sleep? And we sleep all the way; from the womb to the grave.

We are never thoroughly awake; but pass on with such dreams, and imaginations as these, “I may live as well, as another, and why should I die, rather than another?”

But awake, and tell me, says this text, Quis homo? Who is that other that thou talkest of? What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?” (Donne Sermon on Psalm 89:47)

Published inHuman NatureJohn Donne

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