An Unsatisfactory Answer to Incognita

Communicated by Miss Flaxman

When Sheba’s Queen came from the east,
With all her questions cute,
On Earth one man at least was found,
Whose wisdom struck her mute.

But how alas! are times now chang’d
Three Sheba’s here behold!
And not one Solomon exists,
Their riddles to unfold.

For who, among the sons of men,
Now living at this hour,
So strange a paradox to ken,
Intellectual power;

“That female virtues great & small,
So infinitely many,
Are all comprised within the space
Of one small silver penny!!!

As well might modern men be told,
With minds so out of joint,
That women’s virtues shine & dwell
Upon a needle’s point:

Then stound no more our feeble race
With blows, would fell an ox;
But like kind Sphinxes help us to
Resolve your Pandora.

Non Œdipus 1810

Note: To whatever extent or under whatever limitations this wonderful Enigma may be comprehended, the Men have heartfelt reason to rejoice, that the Women declare themselves not penniless in virtue.