Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, RIDDLE ON THE LETTER H (2), by CATHERINE MARIA FANSHAWE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

RIDDLE ON THE LETTER H (2), by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Twas in heaven pronounced. And 'twas muttered in hell
Last Line: Ah, breathe on it softly, -- it dies in an hour.
Variant Title(s): A Riddle; The Letter 'h'
Subject(s): H (letter Of Alphabet); Riddles

'T WAS in heaven pronounced, and 't was muttered
in hell,
And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell;
On the confines of earth 't was permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence con-
'T will be found in the sphere when 't is riven
Be seen in the lightning and hard in the thunder.
'T was allotted to man with his earliest breath,
Attends him at birth, and awaits him in death,
Presides o'er his happiness, honor and health,
Is the prop of his house, and the end of his wealth.
In the heaps of the miser 't is hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost on his prodigal heir.
It begins every hope, every wish it must bound,
With the husbandman toils, and with monarchs
is crowned.
Without it the soldier, the seaman may roam
But woe to the wretch who expels it from home!
In the whispers of conscience its voice will be
Nor e'en in the whirlwind of passion be drowned.
'T will not soften the heart; but though deaf be
the ear,
It will make it acutely and instantly hear.
Yet in shade let it rest, like a delicate flower,
Ah, breathe on it softly, -- it dies in an hour.

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