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The poem opens, reminding the reader of the futility of taking pride in one’s birth and state. No armour offers protection from the merciless hands of death. The ultimate leveller comes and lays his icy hands on kings and clowns alike. The sceptre and the crown of the king fall down and lie equal in the dust with the poor peasant’s scythe and spade.Worldly victory and success too are futile before death. Some men reap and heap enemy heads in the battlefield and win laurels to adorn their heads. They too shall bow their heads before death. But poor mortals still tame and kill one another like thoughtless beasts.
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