Devouring Famine, Plague, and War, Each able to undo mankind, Death's servile emissaries are; Nor to these alone confined, He hath at will More quaint and subtle ways to kill; A smile or kiss, as he will use the art, Shall have the cunning skill to break a heart.
The honour is overpaid, When he that did the act is commentator.
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.
Only the actions of the just Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.
sc. iii. Compare: "The sweet remembrance of the just Shall flourish when he sleeps in dust", Tate and Brady, Psalm cxxii.