The last poem by John Donne, written while he was dying, is one I have read and analyzed many times since I first encountered in college. It’s rather somber, but also magnificent. I have included notes at the end.
Hymn to God My God, in My Sickness
Since I am coming to that holy room
Where with thy choir of saints for evermore
I shall be made thy music, as I come,
I tune the instrument here at the door,
And what I must do then, think here before.
Whilst my physicians by their love are grown
Cosmographers, and I their map, who lie
Flat on this bed, that by them may be shown
That this is my southwest discovery 
Per fretum febris , by these straits to die .
I joy that in these straits  I see my west ;
For though their currents yield return to none,
What shall my west hurt me? As west and east
In all flat maps (and I am one) are one,
So death doth touch the resurrectión.
Is the Pacific Sea my home? Or are
The eastern riches? Is Jerusalem?
Anian  and Magellan and Gibraltar,
All straits, and none but straits, are ways to them,
Whether where Japhet dwelt, or Cham or Shem .
We think that Paradise and Calvary,
Christ’s cross and Adam’s tree, stood in one place.
Look, Lord, and find both Adams met in me;
As the first Adam’s sweat  surrounds my face,
May the last Adam’s blood my soul embrace.
So in his purple wrapped, receive me, Lord,
By these his thorns give me his other crown;
And as to others’ souls I preached thy word ,
Be this my text, my sermon to mine own:
Therefore that he may raise, the Lord throws down.
 The southwest discovery is the passage to the Pacific through the Straits of Magellan.
 Literally, “through the straits of fever.”
 After passing through the straits named after him, Ferdinand Magellan died in the Philippines.
 Note how Donne uses the word not only in its literal geographic sense, but also meaning a difficult passage.
 West is the direction of the sunset and south the direction of fever.
 The Bering Strait.
 The sons of Noah, referring to Europe, Africa, and Asia respectively.
 Part of his punishment for his disobedience.
 Donne was Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
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