A Riddle

T HE morning saw me short and thick,
No taller than a walking stick;
Ere noon my neck so high ascended,
So suddenly my joints extended;
Fine by degrees, at length my waist
So taper grew, though never lac'd,
That all the youths my shape desir'd,
And without envy girls admir'd.
My favour'd scene, my lov'd retreat,
Was cheerful Nola's fairy-seat;
Who from her beauteous valley sees
Yon airy summit crown'd with trees,
Some o'er the bosom'd cave impending
Some in the rifted rocks descending.
Perpetual currents flow to make
For me and mine the copious lake;
Where on a sun-shine holiday
With beaux and belles I was at play;
A youth more frolic than the rest,
Age's disciple, friend, and guest,
Gay, though reserv'd, demure, and sly,
Good-humour lurking in his eye,
Chief of the jovial crew appear'd,
Black were his eye-brows, eyes, and beard,
Black and self-curl'd his glossy hair,
Rejecting Luke's or William's care,
Powder disdain'd, with forehead sleek,
And smirking lips, and ruddy cheek,
He smil'd, and, with a simpering grin,
Upturn'd his prominence of chin;
His legs with yellowish white were hos'd,
His thigh with scarlet plush enclos'd,
His belly, wishing to be round,
Was in a sable waistcoat bound,
A silver-button'd azure vest
His taste and politicks express'd.
For that he is not George's foe
His roseless buttons clearly show,
Untainted he by Faction's lore,
A son of Iris now no more.
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