Saturday, July 4, 2009

DEATH, THE LEVELLER



When I was in school, I had to by heart this poem. It has a left a lasting impression on me. Check it out. I am sure it will open up your thought process and you will have many things to say on this poem.

DEATH, THE LEVELLER
By James Shirley
1596-1666
________________________________________


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.



________________________________________

28 comments:

Ayesha Parveen said...

Hi Joseph,

This has been one of my favourite poems. My all-time favourite one is "Crossing The Bar" by Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson. You may look it up on the net, if you haven't read it...a beautiful poem on how death is a joyous anticipation of reunion with the Lord.

Best wishes,

Ayesha

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Hello Joseph, I had not read this poem before but thought it an excellent choice for a blog.
Death is the only one sure thing we know at some stage will occur.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a good week-end.

Yvonne.

Leo said...

Sobering poem. We have an expression that goes, "Gravity always wins." -- Like the restaurant sign. I would go in there. Lots of fruits and vegetables. Gavity can wait a while.

Tickled pink said...

Hello Joseph
Yes, death is the ultimate reality and even a king has to bow down before it.of course only the good actions stay by.
Well the last paragraph of this poem had come in one of ny exams for a critical appreciation and the lucidity and structure of it has enchanted me since then.
So nice of you to open it up for various interpretations.
take care.

Merle said...

Greetings Joseph ~~ I think the poem about death, would be a difficult one to learn.
Thank you for your visit to my blog and I am glad you enjoyed the things I posted. Take care, my friend.
Regards, Merle.

Trudy said...

Hello dear Joseph! Thank you for your sweet comments regarding happiness, those were some wonderful quotes!

I do love this poem...I think it is a welcome reminder that none of us can escape death. I am just forever thankful that death is not the end for me and so many others...but that we can run safely and happily into the arms of our Saviour!

Have a blessed day my friend!
Trudy

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Hi Joseph !! This is a good and true poem..I really enjoyed the photos too..Thanks for sharing..Do check my another blog also i.e.Unseen Rajasthan

Salute said...

I came over from Femin Susan's blog. Very true poem.

Rhapsody B. said...

Namaste My friend Joseph:

Your title "Death, The Leveller" reminds me of a poem I wrote a while back.

Nice entry.......
Have a blessed week

A New Beginning said...

Beautiful poem Joseph.. death is inevitable..ad in this poem its been beautifully placed. Like the way u clubbed the poem with the pictures........great Job!
Have a great week ahead!

Femin Susan said...

This is a good and true poem. I really enjoyed. Thanks for sharing.
I am busy with my studies.
Cheers.....

Mitr - Friend said...

So many awards u've got... Congrats... :)

Brian Miller said...

Joseph,

Thanks for stopping by again today. Wonderful poem. You know when pondering deaths sweet embrace i am often reminded of all the life we have to live and to give to others in the brief flicker of the taper that we have been given.

i look forward to the future, with thanks for the days and the mighty work i have been given.

interesting pics you chose to go with this piece.

blessings.

Valerie said...

hi Joseph, I came over from Brian's blog (WaystationOne. That was a good poem, I'm not sure I could have learned the words by heart but the meaning is there. Thanks for posting it on your blog.

Mel said...

What a great poem, Joseph! I'm going to share it with my kids. It reminds me that we, all of us, rich or poor, every nationality, race, gender and religion--share so much and are so alike in so many ways. Brothers and sisters, all of us. God bless you, Dear Joseph!

Peace and joy,
Mel

Blue Moon said...

Hello Sir,

There’s an earnest request that please leave your comments on the post titled:

“FROM GLORY TO GRAVE”

Your post is extremely beautiful. It’s a fact that whatever we earn in this life is left when we depart for our heavenly abode, but human being is bound by materialistic desires & he fails to understand that he’ll leave everything here, after his death. The moment a man understands the ULTIMATE REALITY- DEATH, Life will be more easy to live & more beautiful.

I’ll be waiting for your response on my current post & the post mentioned above.

Good luck for next posts………..

Beau jour….!!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Manjari

Tickled pink said...

Hello Sir
Just wanna ask From where did you click the 1st picture of this post?
Its very nice.

R.Ramakrishnan said...

Hi Joseph

Very much enjoyed reading the poem. Such poems tend to bring you down to earth from your high & mighty pedestal.
The snaps of the shells on the shelves - are they taken in the Jew town market ? I had visited Ernakulam with daughter, son in law & grand daughter in 2007, took a backwater cruise on the Vembanad lake and visited Jew Town, Dutch Palace & Jewish Synagogue. We had a wonderful time. We had also visited the elephant kraal at Kodanadu a beautiful,calm & scenic palace.

Regards
Ram

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

Dearest Joseph, I feel your warmth, your aspiring and ever present soaring of Spirit. This in what you here share and reflect in the tenor of your comments posted to my blog. I am deeply appreciative of your visits.

"Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust." This a truism - and so a knowing guide for choices I make. Thank you for all your knowing.

Maggie May said...

It is a sobering poem as non of us can escape it!

Love your shell picture.
Many thanks for visiting me.

Amrita said...

This is a very profound and philosophical post Joseph-ji.

Whether a prince or a pauper all are treated the same by the angel of death.

In this regard its not our earthly estate but our soul which counts.

Christ is my ressurection and life and when I die I have this assurance that I will life again , inheriting eternal life.

The first few lines of a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox comes to mind - --

The Ladder

Unto each mortal who comes to earth
A ladder is given by God at birth
And up this ladder the soul must go
Step by step from the valley below;
Step by step to the center of space,
On this ladder of lives, to the Starting Place.

Creativity!! said...

Fantastic Poem :) Liked it a lot!!!!!!!! Thanks a Lot for sharing :D

Rajesh said...

Beautiful poem. When kids we used to collect the shells on the beaches similar to the one shown in first snap. Very nice.

msatheeshkumar said...

Thought-provoking,Meaningful and Beautiful poem...But,we don't have this poem in our childhood school days...Excellent one indeed...Thanks a lot for sharing.

Maria said...

Hi Joseph,

thanks for stopping by! I read your poem and it is wonderful and true. We cannot escape our fate, and that's nothing to be afraid of, I think.
Well, you will not be surprised to hear that I loved the restaurant's menue even as much as (or even more than) the poem :)))) *gg*. You know, I'm joking, as always...
Fresh fruit, home made cake ...

Austria has so much rain this summer, heavy rains, the weather is a little monsoon-like, but there are sunny days in between, too. I heard you had a very heavy monsoon time this year in India.
Have a good weekend, Joseph, best regards, Maria
PS: I read about your computer, I think I would exchange the whole thing.

divsi said...

hello:)
i luved this poem...8th std...
and there was one more..death be not proud!:) thnx for taking me there:)
regds,
divsi

Mahesh Sindbandge said...

Hi Joseph,

Thought provoking poem.

It wasnt a part of our syllabus :-(


Cheers
Mahesh

francis aloor said...

Meaningful,Thought provoking and Beautiful poem. Hope in future, forget the past, death is inevitable, pray for a better finish. Enjoyed reading the poem thanks a lot for sharing.