Food the Leveller

Food the Leveller short poem

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.

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A parody…or let’s call it a laugh riot of James Shirley’s original poem ‘Death The Leveller’
@Rahul, you sure have your way with words. When a parody is more entertaining than the original, our poet deserves an applause. Hilarious. A sheer feast for senses!



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