A Riddle – Thomas Parnell

Upon a Bed of humble clay
In all her Garments loose
A Prostitute my Mother lay
To ev’ry Comer’s use.
‘Till one Gallant in heat of love
His Own Peculiar made her
And to a Region far above
And softer Beds convey’d her.
But in his Absence, to his Place
His rougher Rival came
And with a cold constrain’d Embrace
Begat me on the Dame.
I then appear’d to Publick View
A Creature wondrous bright
But shortly perishable too
Inconstant, nice and light.
On Feathers not together fast
I wildly flew about
And from my Father’s country past
To find my Mother out.
Where her Gallant of her beguil’d
With me enamour’d grew
And I that was my Mother’s Child
Brought forth my Mother too.