A master and lord sits in heaven’s hall
and up to hands age has blighted
a skein goes of thousands of strings in all
from each human life he’s ignited.
He joins them together, and if he should jerk,
we bow and we curtsey at his every quirk
and do pirouettes so amusing,
poor marionettes of his choosing.
We eat and we drink and we love and we fight
and die and to earth are committed.
We carry the torch of our thought so bright,
and deem our words strong and quick-witted.
We live in great splendour as also in shame
but all that goes under or may lead to fame
and all that can augur good fortune or ruin
is jerks on strings and his doing.
You ancient old lord up in heaven’s hall,
when will you finally tire?
The carnival’s puppet dance spring or fall
displays the same lack of desire.
A jerk on the string – and everything’s gone
and all humankind can sleep on and on
and sorrow and evil rest from endeavour
in your great toy-box for ever.
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