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The Book of Riddles   By:

The Book of Riddles by Anonymous

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z &.

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'Tis true I have both face and hands, And move before your eyes, Yet when I go, my body stands, And when I stand, I lie.

A Clock.


My clothing's fine as velvet rare, Though under earth my dwellings are; And when above it I appear, My enemies put me oft in fear. The gard'ner does at me repine, I spoil his works as he does mine.

The Mole.


My form is beauteous to the ravish'd sight, My habit gay, my color gold or white; When ladies take the air, I without pride, A faithful partner am close by their side. I near their persons constantly remain, A favorite slave, bound with a golden chain; And though I can both speak and go alone, Yet are my motions to myself unknown.

A Watch.


Emblem of youth and innocence With walls enclosed for my defence, And with no care opprest, I boldly spread my charms around, 'Till some rude lover breaks the mound, And takes me to his breast. Here soon I sicken and decay: My beauty lost, I'm turned away, And thrown into the street; Where I despised, neglected lie, See no Samaritans pass by, But numerous insults meet.

A Rose.


Two twins we are, and, let it not surprise, Alike in every feature, shape, and size: We're square, or round, of brass or iron made, Sometimes of wood, yet useful found in trade; But, to conclude, for all our daily pains, We by the neck are often hung in chains.

A Pair of Scales.


I was before the world began, And shall forever last; Ere father Adam was a man, Or out of Eden cast. Your youthful moments I attend, And mitigate your grief; The industrious peasant I befriend, To pris'ners give relief. Make much of me if you are wise, And use me while you may, For you will lose me in a trice. As I for no man stay.


The ancients represented time by the figure of a man, with broad wings, spread out, as denoting its flight, or that time is ever on the wing. In one hand he held an hour glass, to show that as the sand, so our time is constantly running; and in the other, a scythe, to let us know that time, like the scythe, levels all. He is represented with only one lock of hair before, the remainder of his head being bald, to show that we must take him by the forelock, when it presents, lest when it be past, we find our disappointment, and as the back part of the head is bare, so our time is no more.

It foams without anger, It flies without wings, It cuts without edge, And without tongue it sings.

A Bottle of Ale.


What force and strength cannot get through I with a gentle touch can do; And many in the streets would stand, Were I not, as friend, at hand.

A Key.

What is that which has been to morrow, and will be yesterday?

To day.


My habitation's in a wood, And I'm at any one's command; I often do more hurt than good, If I once get the upper hand: I never fear the champion's frown, Stout things I oftentimes have done; Brave soldiers I have oft laid down, I never fear their sword and gun... Continue reading book >>

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