According to a Californian preacher slash media mogul, the world will end tomorrow, May 21, at 6pm. Predicting the end of the world is a venerable occupation, not entirely without foundation, but mostly without vindication. Responses range from riotous shopping for candles and canned goods, to extraordinary poems like this one from John Donne. It's his Holy Sonnet number 7, published in 1633.
At the round earth’s imagined corners, blow
Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise
From death, you numberless infinities
Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go;
All whom the flood did, and fire shall o’erthrow,
All whom war, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
Despair, law, chance hath slain, and you whose eyes
Shall behold God and never taste death’s woe.
But let them sleep, Lord, and me mourn a space,
For if above all these my sins abound,
’Tis late to ask abundance of thy grace
When we are there; here on this lowly ground
Teach me how to repent; for that’s as good
As if thou hadst sealed my pardon with thy blood.