Chess by James Corry


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We are the pawns;
The fuel for the fire,
Bespattered in mire.
But beware O’ King,
For Louis and Charles can attest,
Even we may one day tire
When we need our rest
From your offhand scoffing.

We are the rooks,
Crumbling and old.
We are rarely bold
And we ever just suffice:
The eternal servants.
Some recognition would be nice,
But who cares for castles cold,
Crumbling and old?

We are the knights.
Chivalry abounds
In our valour and our charge.
We feel no dread,
But come the battle’s end
We will be found
On the battleground,
Dirty and wet and very dead.

We are the bishops.
We are holy and pure.
Fear us, enemies of God,
For your end is near,
But who is this figure
Across the field
That looks so familiar
And at me does peer?

I am the Queen.
All fear my placid mien
No Dido or Cleopatra I,
For I must never die
Before my time has come;
Before my worth is done.
But I wish, just once,
My end could be free from violence.

I am the King.
Stately but ever ageing.
Once tall but now bent.
For me they will die.
But do they respect my
Power? Or do they laugh
At my orb and my staff?
And my enfeeblement.