No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vildest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
When I am dead, mourn for me only as long as you hear the funeral bell telling the world that I’ve left this vile world to go live with the vile worms. No, if you read this line, don’t remember who wrote it, because I love you so much that I’d rather you forgot me than thought about me and became sad. I’m telling you, if you look at this poem when I’m, say, dissolved in the earth, don’t so much as utter my name but let your love die with me. Otherwise, the world, in all its wisdom, will investigate why you’re sad and use me to mock you, now that I am gone.