The poem begins by personifying death as “Death the Leveller.” This personification portrays death as an impartial force that treats all human beings equally, irrespective of their social standing or accomplishments.
Death the Leveller Poem Summary In English
Death the Leveller Introduction:
Death is a great leveller. It knows no difference between a king and a pauper. It treats the mighty and the weak, the rich and the poor equally. Everybody has to bow before Death’s power. Man should not boast of his great deeds. Only good actions are remembered after one’s death.
Death the Leveller Summary Poem:
The glories of our high birth and position are mere shadows. They are not substantial things. There is no shield that can save us from what is destined for us. Death lays its cruel hands on kings even. Their sceptre and crown tumble down and are made equal in dust with the poor scythe and spade. In other words, kings and peasants are made equal in death.
Some men win battles by the power of sword. They may win laurels by killing others. But the strong nerves of even such men must at last bow before death. Men can defeat one another only; they can’t defeat death. All powerful men must bow before their fate and give up their murmuring breath early or late. When death overpowers them, they look like pale captives. Death ends all their pride.
The fame and honour won by you shall fade away’ after your death. So, you should not boast of your mighty achievements. You should know that all victors become victims at the purple altar of Death. Your heads, too, will have to lie under the cold tombs after your death. Only the actions of just men live after their death, and spread their fragrance all around.