[Page 125]


1 I Come, a friend to man, I'm ne'er his foe
2 But when he indiscreetly makes me so.
3 My name is Stop tho' what am I about?
4 They that would know my name may find it out.
5 I'm seen in Summer in the shady grove,
6 Where pensive speculating maidens rove;
7 And when the verdure of the forest flies
8 Before th' Autumnal winds, that blust'ring rise
9 To wast the yellow fragments o'er the plain,
10 Firm and unshaken still my leaves remain;
11 But in the Winter I some covert crave,
12 Nor dare the rigour of that season brave:
13 Yet if too near the fire I take my stand,
14 My rind contracts, and leaves too much expand;
15 Doctors extract my essence and apply't
16 To stop disorders, and to give delight;
17 And some that would my properties define,
18 Declare I am essentially divine:
19 Nay some, by arrant superstition taught,
20 Say I immediately from Heav'n was brought;
21 But that I am in Heav'n, let none deny,
22 The Scripture says it, can the Scripture lye?


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Title (in Source Edition): An ENIGMA.
Genres: heroic couplet; riddle

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Source edition

Hands, Elizabeth, 1746-1815. The death of Amnon. A poem. With an appendix: containing pastorals, and other poetical pieces. By Elizabeth Hands. [Coventry]: Printed for the author, by N. Rollason, Coventry, M,DCCLXXXIX., 1789, p. 125. [40],127,[1]p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T141063) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Dunston B 961 (1)].)

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Other works by Elizabeth Hands (née Herbert)