Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A RIDDLE FOR THE LADIES, by ROYALL TYLER

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A RIDDLE FOR THE LADIES, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: I never was, nor yet I am
Last Line: You've mention'd me, and there's my danger.
Alternate Author Name(s): Old Simon; S.
Subject(s): Riddles

I NEVER was, nor yet I am;
I never spake, and yet I talk;
I ne'er was born, yet I must die;
I've active feet, yet I ne'er walk.

No body, voice, or shape I claim;
No hands or even legs to help me,
And yet when you have found my name,
You'll own you've often seen, heard, felt me.

Are you a maiden prim and shy,
And at some youngster set your cap,
When your sweet Strephon passed by
You saw me near his jetty hat?

Perhaps a buxom widow may
Yearn to know my deep hid name;
What she weeps for let her say --
What she smiles at, I'm the same.

If a fond wife you chance to be,
You can fully solve me, madam;
In extremes I'm known to thee;
Sometimes I'm merry, sometimes sad am.

Romping girls and prudish misses,
Matrons grave and Elders show me;
Squires, Captains share my blisses,
But old Bachelors can't know me.

I cough, I weep, I laugh, I sneeze,
I hear, I see, I smile, I frown,
I drown, I burn, I melt, I freeze,
And am the joke of all the town:

And yet no features mark my face,
No passions in my heart you'll find,
No feelings in my limbs you'll trace,
And I am wiser than mankind.

Then guess me out and tell my name,
Tho none have I, and what is stranger?
While you have guess'd, & guess'd in vain,
You've mention'd me, and there's my danger.

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