by Alfred Perceval Graves (1846 - 1931)

The riddle
Language: English 
Raise us a riddle as spinning we sit.
P'raps I have one that your fancy will fit.
Come, then advance it with all of your wit.

Some have got the barley showin',
Some a purty patch of oats,
Others just the praties growin'
With a mountainside for goats.
Come with me through meadows flow'ry
Up where furze and heather blow,
If my secret golden dowry,
Lasses, you would like to know.

Surely hid treasure is in your head.
Wrongly my riddle this time you have read.
Come, give us hold of a stronger thread.

How is this my herds can utter
Of themselves the milk all day,
Churn and turn it into butter
Faix and firkin it safe away.
Kerry cows upon their brows
Bear a pair of branching horns;
But my kind they wear behind
One, only one, like Unicorns.

Ah, then, your herds are the bees on the height.
Deed and this time you've guessed right.
Pleasant the riddle you put us tonight.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Mike Pearson

This text was added to the website: 2016-09-13
Line count: 25
Word count: 165