Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHESS-PLAYER, by GEORGE HERBERT CLARKE

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE CHESS-PLAYER, by                
First Line: I played at chess with lasker, but to lose
Last Line: As I played lasker, so I challenge life!
Subject(s): Chess; Failure; Life; Strength

I PLAYED at chess with Lasker, but to lose,
Beaten from the beginning; yet the game
Wavered awhile in seeming, and no shame
Possessed me. It was mine to check and choose,
To marshal, menace, try this sudden ruse
And that side-ambuscade, with hope aflame
Hailéd to be as he that overcame,
The laurel once at least not to refuse.

Vainly! He sat before me patient, still,
His dark eye searching out each secret plot,
And by his brooding, stern-compelling will
The game was guided, though I knew it not;—
Yet find I strength in failure as in strife:
As I played Lasker, so I challenge Life!

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