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Passions in PoetryFour Riddles
IV
by Lewis Carroll

 

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Passions in Poetry Home > All Poems > Classic Poetry > Lewis Carroll > Four Riddles > Canto I - The Trystyng Canto I - The Trystyng
Lewis Carroll
Poetry | Biography
Four Riddles
IV
by Lewis Carroll

MY First is singular at best:
More plural is my Second:
My Third is far the pluralest -
So plural-plural, I protest
It scarcely can be reckoned!

My First is followed by a bird:
My Second by believers
In magic art: my simple Third
Follows, too often, hopes absurd
And plausible deceivers.

My First to get at wisdom tries -
A failure melancholy!
My Second men revered as wise:
My Third from heights of wisdom flies
To depths of frantic folly.

My First is ageing day by day:
My Second's age is ended:
My Third enjoys an age, they say,
That never seems to fade away,
Through centuries extended.

My Whole? I need a poet's pen
To paint her myriad phases:
The monarch, and the slave, of men -
A mountain-summit, and a den
Of dark and deadly mazes -

A flashing light - a fleeting shade -
Beginning, end, and middle
Of all that human art hath made
Or wit devised! Go, seek HER aid,
If you would read my riddle!

 

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Classic Home > Lewis Carroll > Four Riddles >> Canto I - The Trystyng Canto I - The Trystyng
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IV

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