by C. A. Escoffery
The lowly pawn,
Goes on and on,
Seeking a surrender;
The opponent's pawn
Meanwhile comes on,
To try and clip her fender.
Yet steadily onward,
In slowly, measured feet,
The pawn's aware
Of danger there,
Yet never will retreat.
Unless, of course,
When things get worse,
She tries a "pas dansant,"
Then a pawn nearby
Will obliquely sigh
And apply the "en passant."
She may, some day,
Go all the way,
Her forward file now clean,
And in fair play
Rise up and say,
"The Pawn becomes a Queen!"
The gallant knight pursues the fight
With pseudo-octagonal vectors:
On stalwart steed, he doth proceed
To leap o'er nearby sectors.
And once he's got a vantage spot,
He'll settle in and mortify.
He may be fickle, but let a pawn tickle:
You'll see the horse fly!
While diagonally moving on a slant of his own,
He may lurk in a corner and pounce whilst you moan!
Bishops come in two colors, black and white;
Although clergy, they're keen for a fight,
Together, they're a steely bishop double:
So be warned: they can really dish up trouble!
Learning his moves is really no hassle
Except that you need to know how to castle.
The rook may be upright, just like a tower,
And, like the Queen, he may make us cower.
Though he never cuts corners, don't let him spook you.
Just be on your guard, or else he may rook you.
La donna è mobile (she sure gets around!)
And in midst of the battle she'll generally be found.
Yet her greatest ambition is that brilliant device
Known to most players as the Queen Sacrifice,
Which is really not difficult, so I hear tell,
But whenever I try it my game goes to . . . Well,
We can't all be Masters, but maybe someday
I'll have studied and practiced and learned how to play!
No praise for the king: Why he's just a square
Who is sheltered and pampered through most of the game;
If his men win, he grabs the full share,
But just let them lose and who gets the blame? !
I am played upon and prayed upon,
By players proving mental brawn,
Who often get into such a state
That they start to argue and debate,
Whence I, usually in a drawer holed up,
Will then (like Arab tents) just silently fold up.