[Page 88]



1 Resolve Me, Cloe, what is This:
2 Or forfeit me One precious Kiss.
3 'Tis the first Off-spring of the Graces;
4 Bears diff'rent Forms in diff'rent Places;
5 Acknowledg'd fine, where-e'er beheld;
6 Yet fancy'd finer, when conceal'd.
7 'Twas Flora's Wealth, and Circe's Charm;
8 Pandora's Box of Good and Harm:
9 'Twas Mars's Wish, Endymion's Dream;
10 Apelles' Draught, and Ovid's Theme.
11 This guided Theseus thro' the Maze;
12 And sent Him home with Life and Praise.
13 But This undid the Phrygian Boy;
14 And blew the Flames that ruin'd Troy.
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15 This shew'd great Kindness to old Greece,
16 And help'd rich Jason to the Fleece.
17 This thro' the East just Vengeance hurl'd,
18 And lost poor Anthony the World.
19 Injur'd, tho' Lucrece found her Doom;
20 This banish'd Tyranny from Rome.
21 Appeas'd, tho' Lais gain'd her Hire;
22 This set Persepolis on Fire.
23 For This Alcides learn'd to Spin;
24 His Club laid down, and Lion's Skin.
25 For This Apollo deign'd to keep,
26 With servile Care, a Mortal's Sheep.
27 For This the Father of the Gods,
28 Content to leave His high Abodes,
29 In borrow'd Figures loosely ran,
30 Europa's Bull, and Leda's Swan.
31 For This He reassumes the Nod;
32 (While Semele commands the God)
33 Launces the Bolt, and shakes the Poles;
34 Tho' Momus laughs, and Juno scolds.
35 Here list'ning Cloe smil'd, and said;
36 Your Riddle is not hard to read:
37 I Guess it Fair one, if You do;
38 Need I, alas! the Theme pursue?
39 For This, Thou see'st, for This I leave,
40 Whate'er the World thinks Wise or Grave,
41 Ambition, Business, Friendship, News,
42 My useful Books, and serious Muse.
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43 For This I willingly decline
44 The Mirth of Feasts, and Joys of Wine;
45 And chuse to sit and talk with Thee,
46 (As Thy great Orders may decree)
47 Of Cocks and Bulls, of Flutes and Fiddles,
48 Of Idle Tales, and foolish Riddles.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): On BEAUTY. A RIDDLE.
Author: Matthew Prior
Genres: riddle

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Source edition

Prior, Matthew, 1664-1721. Poems on Several Occasions [English poems only]. London: Printed for JACOB TONSON at Shakespear's-Head over against Katharine-Street in the Strand, and JOHN BARBER upon Lambeth-Hill. MDCCXVIII., 1718, pp. 88-90. [42],506,[6]p.: ill.; 2°. (ESTC T075639) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [H 6.8 Art.].)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Matthew Prior