Devotions upon Emergent Occasions by John Donne One of Donne's most important and haunting works in prose, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions was composed in less than a month, during an illness that nearly cost the writer his life.
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Master John Donne was born in London, in the year 1573, of good and virtuous parents: and, though his own learning and other multiplied merits may justly appear sufficient to dignify both himself and his posterity, yet the reader may be pleased to know that his father was masculinely and lineally descended from a very ancient family in Wales, where many of his name now live, that deserve and have great reputation in that country.
Meditation XVII from Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions Nunc lento sonitu dicunt, morieris. Now this bell tolling softly for another, says to me, Thou must die.