With my sincerest apologies to James Shirley
The glories of our spoons and plates
Are filling, quite substantial things;
There is so much amour of the palate;
We lay our hands on all manner of things:
Bread toasted brown
Flora and faun,
A juicy steak so rare made
With the wicked cake and marmalade.
Some tough stomach’s may sweep the field,
And demand fresh morsels for ones they spill:
But all strong reserves at last must yield;
They blame one dish or the other still:
Early or late
They stoop to regurgitate,
And give up with murmuring breath
When they, pale, creep to the toilet.
The sweat glistens on the brow,
Then boast no more of mighty feasts!
Having met his stomachs’ limit now
See where the pompous foodie bleeds.
Your greed must bow
To the whims of the gut:
Those who eat only what they must
Feel content and find no regret.
Inspired from James Shirley’s original poem ‘Death The Leveller’ that goes like –
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.