Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Dice Players (Georges de la Tour), Sonnet #353

When it was over we played dice by candlelight.
The musty catafalque was empty once again.
We passed the last of the altar wine out quickly,
Like warm beer -- ate the wafers with a tender bite.
When someone gave a toast to Death, we said, "Amen."
"A shame!" we said, "Quick to still, he bypassed sickly!"
We played a game of our own invention called "Gone" --
An elimination game. Each threw a bone die
Three times and survived if even one was a one.
If all three were higher numbers your turn passed by.
The last one left had to "bury" the rest with pence,
Like the old Greeks' tradition -- one for each dead eye.
To lose was to win, which to us seemed perfect sense,
And glad tribute to His Lordship's evanescence.