The Paths of Glory lead but to the Grave.

The Paths of Glory lead but to the Grave.


This great quote is taken from the ninth stanza of the Thomas Grey’s poem “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”. The lines go like:

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

The poet has beautifully beaded the words into a garland making a deep sense and passing a big message to the masses. He has told that whatever we gain in life by heroics acts, obtaining / assuming power, beauty, and wealth has very least sustenance, still life is perishable.


Every person has a different definition for this word glory. To have a broader look, the glory is the success or the achievement. Any successful accomplishment which is rewarding and giving us a cherishing outlook of life is what can be precisely understood from glory. It is definitely not all that easy to attain success in any job. That requires talent and efficiency to be successful. Be it a small task of eating food, even that differs from person to person. A lot many things like neatness, hygiene, community awareness, table manners, proper chewing, choice of food etc. comes into play just to eat the food. Even eating a balanced diet in a proper way is glorious if that needs to be done in a pretty smart way.

Paths of Glory

Just with this term “paths of Glory” the very example that strikes our mind are our brave soldiers. Those who fight and defend us bravely and face their death with utmost courage. The way a soldier ends up his life play in a respectable way, is definitely worth mentioning. Those are definitely the paths of glory.

But this phrase doesn’t limit itself just to the soldiers, but this is equally applicable to every human life and for that instance, every living form. As we don’t understand the life pattern of other living forms, we are least to debate on them. As far as human beings are concerned, every human being walks on his life path. Making the same glorious or creeping throughout the life cycle in a coward and sheepish manner is up the individual into play.

Every person undergoes a fight throughout his life time. There are people who eat to survive and few others who live to eat. In both the cases, we human beings undergo great hassles in our day-to-day life, just to fulfil the demands of our stomach and satisfy our hunger. Those who live to eat may concentrate on their food, but the others pay attention to what and how they perform their duties and complete their tasks. People do work of pride, prestige, name and fame, wealth, property, dignity and much more. Every person has a different aim and mission to accomplish in his lifetime. The Path of Glory denotes as to how beautifully and bravely the individual marches towards his success lane.

Paths of glory lead but to the grave

We can understand this very quote in two different ways:

• Glory in a positive life outlook

The paths of glory is so confident and brave, that the individual is free of the tensions regarding the obstacles on his success path. He just proceeds ahead with great zeal and power. This life is a vicious circle. If we go up, we need to get down as well. If we climb ahead with immense speed and power, the return will be definitely equally faster that could end up the life. Though the person marched rapidly, bravely, confidently and brilliantly on his success ladder and completed his task with a great show, still the glory followed him after the end of his life. This is what that holds true to our respectable soldiers who die a great death.

• Glory in a negative life outlook

We can understand the same quote in a different manner. People run behind the materialistic things like wealth, property etc., or they keep wandering to attain the abstracts like power, name and fame to find their Glory. The life may be very glorious for those who succeed in their mission, but all that glory leads to the grave.

If we closely visualize, the person who has the aim to achieve is under great stress. He is the one who doesn’t care for his health or for that matter the purest form of life like love, affection etc., as he lacks time for each and every thing. Such people who rather than living the life enjoying the same to the fullest, move greedily towards their so-called aim end up with varying types of diseases. These diseases are definitely leading to the grave. It just depends if they kill instantly or slowly eating up the life like a pest.

Such people may achieve glory in their life time, as they become successful in fulfilling their desire, their greed, their aim; but they fail to understand the loss they had in their life. They fail to value time, people, love and affection which are priceless and precious.


It is easy to conclude this discussion, but equally hard to understand and implement the value of this quote in the practical world. In today’s era, the negative type of personalities are fast spreading, and this is definitely making a negative aura all around. It is high time to value the hard core reality of this quote, otherwise the world will end up with a widespread devastation.
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