Heav’n but the Vision of fulfill’d Desire,
And Hell the Shadow from a Soul on fire
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerg’d from, shall so soon expire.
We are no other than a moving row
Of Magic Shadow-shapes that come and go
Round with the Sun-illumin’d Lantern held
In Midnight by the Master of the Show;*
But helpless Pieces of the Game He plays
Upon this Chequer-board of Nights and Days:
Hither and thither moves, and checks, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.
The Ball no question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Here or There as strikes the Player goes;
And He that toss’d you down into the Field,
He knows about it all — HE knows — HE knows!*