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

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