In Donne’s sonnet, what does the phrase “one short sleep past” mean?

A) Death comes sooner then expected.

Answer 1

the line refers to eternity, which means that C is correct. here is the whole thing, and the line following one short sleep past bears the answer.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so ;
For those, whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy picture[s] be,
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy, or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke ; why swell’st thou then ?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more ; Death, thou shalt die.

Answer 2

the answer man got it. Donne, being an ex catholic priest believed in the resurrection of the soul – waking up on judgement day or the soul passing on to heavenafter a short time thats why he quoted “one short sleep and wake up eternally”

Answer 3

A)You snooze, you lose.
B)Death is not the last thing, but the least thing – druidic proverb
C)I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
D)Sleep is overrated

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