‘Prisoner, tell me, who was it that bound you?’
‘It was my master,’ said the prisoner.
‘I thought I could outdo everybody in the world in wealth and power,
And I amassed in my own treasure-house the money due to my king.
When sleep overcame me I lay upon the bed that was for my lord,
And on waking up I found I was a prisoner in my own treasure-house.’
‘Prisoner, tell me, who was it that wrought this unbreakable chain?’
‘It was I,’ said the prisoner, ‘who forged this chain very carefully.
I thought my invincible power would hold the world captive
Leaving me in a freedom undisturbed.
Thus night and day I worked at the chain
With huge fires and cruel hard strokes.
When at last the work was done
And the links were complete and unbreakable,
I found that it held me in its grip.’