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?
2 person liked.
1 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 :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  2. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  6. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  9. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  10. A vase of flowers, Leong Ming Loong

Poem of the Day

poet Sarah Flower Adams

O Love! thou makest all things even
In earth or heaven;
Finding thy way through prison-bars
Up to the stars;
Or, true to the Almighty plan,
That out of dust created man,
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]