“Stanzas: the Riddle” from the Knickerbocker

by Ann Neilson

Stanzas: the Riddle.
By J. L. B[?].
From the Knickerbocker, Vol. 49, April, 1857, pg. 381.

I.
MY lady is certainly pretty,
My lady is certainly fair:
She’s charming, she’s graceful, she’s witty,
She sings like a bird in the air;
But then, sure the deuce must be in it!
I think she is all I could love;
Her glance, when by chance I can win it,
Lacks something my pulses to move.

II.
I’m cold, or she must be colder,
(I wonder now which it can be:)
Or the love, with which others behold her,
Would waken some feeling in me.
‘T is puzzling, indeed quite a riddle,
When one cannot read his own heart;
But finds, when he gets to the middle,
He’s just where he was at the start.

III.
Do I love her, or not? that’s the puzzle,
And who shall unravel the thread
That binds up my heart like a muzzle,
And smothers the thoughts in my head?
If I thought now it would not o’ertask her,
My fancies to take from the shelf,
Like a bundle of books, I would ask her,
This minute to read me myself!

IV.
Do I love her, or not? will she tell me?
If so I should much like to know;
And where that same passion befel me?
And how does its presence here show?
And then when my heart, beyond doubt, it
Is clear she has truthfully shown,
I venture to hope, while about it,
She’ll tell me the state of her own.