English XI (Old Course)

On the Vanity of the Earthly Greatness – Summary | The Magic of the Words

In the past, the tusks of the mastodons were strong and reliable weapons in the battles. They clashed on the battlefield and were used to wound and kill fatal enemies. But the cruel time has ended their greatness.
Such tasks have been used to make billiard balls. They are no more used as weapons and are rather replaced by other kinds of weapons. In the like manner, Charlemagne the Just is no more powerful. Once he was fearful and mighty emperor, who defeated and conquered many countries. But now his power has vanished. His sword is full of rust. His greatness could not escape the mighty blow of merciless time. Not only this, the grizzly bear too has met the same fate. In the past, everybody would scare by its deadly hold. Now it is no more terrorizing. It has been put under human power, and thus rugs have been made cut of its skins with fur. So much so that time has not spared the Great Julius Caesar. He was a powerful general, brilliant spokesman and a cunning ruler. Nobody dared outsmart him in his time. Such a person is now turned to a bust and is placed on a self of sitting room. The poet is fully aware of this fact and says that he too will be destroyed by the time. Therefore, he feels ill.

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