The Game of Chess

By
Twilight in the garden
All quiet in the house
The child is in the cradle
The mother sleeps without

The father’s in the army
He has gone to fight the war
Bring glory to his country
Will he see the coming hour?

The shadows in the nursery
Lengthen with coming night
A chess set in the corner
Gleams quietly with a light

The Ebony and the Ivory
They creak and wake and groan
The chessmen tall and noble
Or short in humble tone

All twist and turn and wake
To battle once again
Upon the checked battlefield
As yet without a stain

It had been there for years and years
And many a battle won
Some by Black and some by White
And then to start anon

This evening too they hoped to win
Each side getting in line
And face each other with brave hearts
And the will to triumph alive

So the battle ground was set
And so the battle lines had met
There they all stood brave and true
How many will remain?

The White as self proclaimed masters
Moved their soldiers first
And a pawn was sent to show
That the White have played their turn

The Black seeing the approaching White
Sent their own soldiers through
And a pawn was sent up front
To stem the coming foe

The names of pawns are not to be noted
They are too small and frail
They are on foot, the weakest links
The easiest to replace

Say nothing of their wives at home
Their children crying out their name
“Papa! Papa! Please return
Do you have to play this game?”

“He’ll soon be home, don’t worry child”
Mama soothes the child and says
Little knowing he is out to die
The leaders to be safe

Don’t worry children, and don’t cry
This is but a game
Which will be played many times over
On yet another day

The same men will rise once more
To fall once again
The same story will be retold
In many different ways

For it’s not, you see, like real life
Where if once gone is gone
And for each new game we have to find
New deaths to depend on

For the game of chess, you see
Is but a crude imitation
The real battle still goes on
In the hearts of each generation

This battle like all battles
Is among different kinds
Who though same of heart and mind
All strive to kill their kind

For some excuse as colour
Caste, creed, religion
With god as their creator
They slay all god’s children

The same you see is in this game
Where White is fighting Black
And so they’ll fight in imitation
While sense is what men lack

But let us continue our story
Of the brave battle won
By White or Black- Do we really care?
Oh! When will mankind learn?





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