The Last Conqueror

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  Victorious men of earth, no more
  Proclaim how wide your empires are;
  Though you bind-in every shore
  And your triumphs reach as far
  As night and day,
  Yet you, proud monarchs, must obey
  And mingle with forgotten ashes, when
  Death calls ye to the crowd of common men.

  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.

© James Shirley