Three players sat at a game of chance
They were Flattery, Love and Truth;
They played a game which we call Fate
Each game tied ’till the hour was late
Each trick went down on Life’s long slate,
And well each played, in sooth.
Love was a player fair to see,
And held winning cards to play;
But as the hours went on apace,
He glanced from Truth to Flattery’s face;
Flattery smiled with errant grace,
While Truth had naught to say.
Then Love forgot that Truth was there,
And Flattery did the same;
Each chance to win they let slip by,
Each scorned to win and ceased to try,
Forgetting that stakes were sure and high,
And so Truth won the game.
Then Truth threw a scornful word at Love,
And Love saw Flattery’s stare;
Love moaned, and his face grew white and set;
Flattery smiled as she smileth yet;
Truth had no smile, and no regret,
For she knew that the game was fair.