A Book by Hannah More

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I’m a strange contradiction; I’m new and I’m old,

I’m often in tatters, and oft deck’d in gold:

Though I never could read, yet letter’d I’m found;

Though blind, I enlighten; though loose, I am bound –

I am always in black, and I’m always in white;

I am grave and I’m gay, I am heavy and light.

In form too I differ – I’m thick and I’m thin,

I’ve no flesh, and no bones, yet I’m cover’d with skin;

I’ve more points than the compass, more stops than the flute –

I sing without voice, without speaking confute;

I’m English, I’m German, I’m French, and I’m Dutch;

Some love me too fondly; some slight me too much;

I often die soon, though sometimes live ages,

And no monarch alive has so many pages.

 

~

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