The planets are bells on his motley,
He fleers at the stars in their state,
He banters the suns burning hotly-
The Jester whose nickname is Fate.
The lanterns that kindle their rays with
The comets, are food for his mirth;
But, oh, how he laughs as he plays with
His mad little bauble, the Earth!
He looks on the atomies crowding
The face of our pitiful ball;
His form in the nebulae shrouding,
He chuckles, unnoted of all
The valorous puppets that chatter
Superbly of Little and Great.
A flip of his finger would shatter
The dreams of these 'Masters of Fate'-
He laughs at their strivings and rages
And tosses the murmurant sphere
To bowl through the zodiac-stages
That measure the groove of a Year.
He laughs as he trips up the maddest
Who scramble for power and place,
But laughs with the bravest and gladdest-
Fate's comrades, who laugh in his face;
Who laugh at themselves and their troubles
Whatever the beaker they quaffe;
Who, laughing at Vanity's bubbles,
Forget not to love as they laugh;
Who laugh in the teeth of disaster,
Yet hope through the darkness to find
A road past the stars to a Master
Of Fate in the vastness behind.