Letters — 14 November 2014
Letter: Death, the leveller

Orange Walk Town,
16th October, 2014

Editor Amandala
Dear Sir,
Kindly publish this poem. Let it serve as a reminder to ALL OF US. Take heed!

DEATH, THE LEVELLER

by J. 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:
Scepter 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.

Yours truly,
(Signed) Francisco Solorzano

Orange Walk Town,
16th October, 2014

Editor Amandala
Dear Sir,
Kindly publish this poem. It is very soothing to the mind, body and soul.

CHARACTER OF A HAPPY LIFE

by Sir H. Wotton

How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another’s will
Whose armour is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame, or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise
Or vice; Who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumours freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend;

– This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And have nothing, yet hath all.

Yours truly
(Signed) Francisco Solorzano

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