The speaker tells us that no one is sure which way he will die--either by sickness, old age, or by an enemy's hand. An ungodly liife on earth is restricted to earth, but a life lived in godly manner on earth with be celebrated with the angels in heaven.
No man has ever faced the dawn
Certain which of Fate's three threats
Would fall: illness, or age, or an enemy's
Sword, snatching the life from his soul.
The praise the living pour on the dead
Flowers from reputation: plant
An earthly life of profit reaped
Even from hatred and rancor, of bravery
Flung in the devil's face, and death
Can only bring you earthly praise
And a song to celebrate a place
With the angels, life eternally blessed
In the hosts of Heaven.
The speaker tells us that earthly riches and material items can not be taken with us when we pass, and that God showers sinners with his anger. Those who do not pay homage to God while on earth are bound to face his wrath for eternity. Those who forget God while on earth are doomed as He is all-powerful.
Opens his palms and pours down gold
On his kinsman's grave, strewing his coffin
With treasures intended for Heaven, but nothing
Golden shakes the wrath of God
For a soul overflowing with sin, and nothing
Hidden on earth rises to Heaven.
We all fear God. He turns the earth,
He set it swinging firmly in space,
Gave life to the world and light to the sky.
Death leaps at the fools who forget their God.