The Chess Variant Pages



Chess Morality III: Caissa's Comet

The Return of Comet Caissa to these skies,
Its apparition by the inner spheres
Forebodes the Death of Chess, if Earth denies
The cycle known to be five hundred years.
The last arrival of that omen came
To mark the fall of the mediaeval game:

Devotees of chess from Age of Chivalry
Played out their Sport to death, its tragic strength.
Those five centuries of classic rivalry
Had reached the periodic magic length,
Whereby measured intervals of history
Accord with the Iceball's known trajectory.

A simple proof of this chronology:
The remnants of the telltale signature
Left by some grave benighted pedagogy,
Sophistic bleats that their one Chess endure,
As if counting angels on head of a pin
Makes the World move or produces its spin.

In rerum natura Pedes transducat--
Chessic Latin fragments not so cryptic--
Non tibi sed ludo et orbi, scac mat!
The falling stars, the comets paths elliptic,
A treasured dinosaur whose every bone
Was scraped and classified and set in stone.

The featured visitation's added layer:
A warning look for all the mortal race,
A sound like furious defiant prayer
The present passage sure to leave a trace;
For a deciphered message came on it --
One or more comets have Earth's name on it.

George William Duke 2001

See also


Written by George William Duke.
WWW page created: July 10, 2001. Last modified: September 21, 2001.