James Shirley

(September 1596 – October 1666 / London, England)

The Glories of our Blood and State


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.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: fate, purple, death

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Glories of our Blood and State by James Shirley )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. On My Father's Yortsayt, Abraham Sutzkever
  2. The Bottom Line, Abraham Sutzkever
  3. Inside Me, Abraham Sutzkever
  4. नोँनि हाइनायाव, Bahadur Basumatary
  5. Paris 1988, Abraham Sutzkever
  6. Remembrances Of Others, Abraham Sutzkever
  7. Everything But God, Anne Pierson Wiese
  8. All Night Long, Anne Pierson Wiese
  9. Tell Me, Anne Pierson Wiese
  10. Our Mentor (Acrostic Poem), Marvin Brato Sr

Poem of the Day

poet Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]