The Noble Art of Treachery

two white and black chess knights facing each other on chess board
Photo by Syed Hasan Mehdi on

The Noble Art of Treachery

To defeat one’s mortal enemy,
Approach him as a friend
And speak the honeyed words of peace
And fawn and twist and bend.
In time, once his guard is down
And slower to defend,
Then draw him even closer still
With bridges on the mend.

Confuse with favoured trading rights,
And treaties by the tome,
And offer cunning compromise
Beneath his pleasure dome
By breaking bread instead of bones,
And quoting “when in Rome…”,
And beating ploughshares from your swords
To bring his harvest home.

And waiting for the trap to spring,
He will not understand
You sprung it years ago, back when
You shook him by the hand –
And now he’s caged by friendship
With no anger to command,
As your lovers take his city
And your children work his land.

But best of all, he cannot strike you back,
He is too late –
For now his precious kin are settled
All throughout your state –
For he has also conquered
When he opened up his gate,
And now can only sit and watch
His people grow-up great.

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