Death Poems - Poems For Death - Death The Leveller

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Death The Leveller - Poem by James Shirley

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 crookèd 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.


Comments about Death The Leveller by James Shirley

  • Rookie - 0 Points Jacques Halsey (4/16/2016 4:49:00 PM)

    This poem was said to have terrified O.Cromwell! (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Rookie Dead Man Taiking (12/14/2012 9:33:00 AM)

    all things faint to dust (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Yvonne Morrow (2/6/2008 4:07:00 PM)

    I love this poem, with its strength and truth nicely interwoven. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  2. 2. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  5. 5. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  11. 11. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  12. 12. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  13. 13. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  14. 14. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  15. 15. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  16. 16. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  17. 17. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  18. 18. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  19. 19. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  20. 20. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  21. 21. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  22. 22. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  23. 23. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  24. 24. Angel Of Death (Death Death Death Dea.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  25. 25. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  26. 26. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  27. 27. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  28. 28. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  29. 29. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  30. 30. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  31. 31. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  32. 32. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  33. 33. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  34. 34. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  35. 35. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  36. 36. Death , William Butler Yeats
  37. 37. Death Is A Dialogue Between , Emily Dickinson
  38. 38. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  39. 39. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  40. 40. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  41. 41. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  42. 42. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  43. 43. Death Is Here And Death Is There , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  44. 44. On Death , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  45. 45. A Death-Bed , Rudyard Kipling
  46. 46. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  47. 47. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  48. 48. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  49. 49. On The Death Of Rev. Mr. George Whitefield , Phillis Wheatley
  50. 50. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
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