Posts tagged ‘a riddle’

Monday, 25 June 2018

A Riddle by Nathaniel Evans

Written 1759.

Barricado’d with white bone,
Lab’ring under many a groan,
Curtain’d in my room with red,
And smoothly laid in crimson bed;
‘Tis I dissolve the stony heart,
And comfort’s balmy joys impart;
‘Tis I can rule the wav’ring croud,
Or tame the haughty and the proud;
‘Tis I o’er beauty oft prevail,
That queen of life’s capricious vale;
‘Tis I can fire the warrior’s soul,
Or passion’s giddy voice control;
Senates have felt my lordly sway,
And kings my magic pow’r obey;
‘Tis I, so garrulously gay,
That rouze the dames whose heads are grey;
Gilded o’er with truth and lies,
Under many a mixt disguise,
I dress to cheat unpractis’d youth,
With falsehood’s garb for honest truth;
XANTHIPPE bold, in dead of night,
Taught SOCRATES to own my might!

Strange enchantress, motely creature,
Oddest prodigy of nature!
As raging billows, now I’m wild,
And now as warbling fountains mild;
Now religion’s laws proclaiming,
And now the good and just defaming;
Now cementing patriotism,
And now in church provoking schism.
Enough, O muse!– kind reason cries,
The man who has this monster dies!
Expound my riddle, if you’re able,
For ‘twas this confounded BABEL!

From: Evans, Nathaniel, Poems on Several Occasions, with Some Other Compositions, 1772, John Dunlap: Philadelphia, pp. 19-20.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=vNQhAAAAMAAJ)

Date: 1759

By: Nathaniel Evans (1741-1767)