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Shirley, J - Death the leveller



Type of spiritual experience


Vimy Grodzinski

A description of the experience

J Shirley – Death the Leveller

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings

Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade

Some men with swords may reap the field
And plant fresh laurels where they kill
But their strong nerves at last must yield
They tame but one another still

Early or late
They stoop to fate
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death

The garlands wither on your brow
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death's purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds;

Your heads must come
To the cold tomb
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust

The source of the experience

Poet other

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