Life's Chequer-Board

by John Oxenham

William Arthur Dunkerley

"'Tis all a Chequer-Board of Nights and Days,
Where Detiny with men for pieces plays,
Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays."
_Omar Khayyam_.
A Chequer-Board of mingled Light and Shade?
And We the Pieces on it deftly laid?
Moved and removed, without a word to say,
By the Same Hand that Board and Pieces made?
No Pieces we in any Fateful Game,
Nor free to shift on Destiny the blame;
Each Soul doth tend its own immortal flame,
Fans it to Heaven, or smothers it in shame.

Last updated January 14, 2019