The Complete poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe

Enigma (1833)

First printed in the February 2, 1833, issue of the Baltimore Saturday Visiter, “Enigma” is a riddle that hints at 11 authors. Line two, for example, references Homer and the ninth refers to Alexander Pope. It was signed only with “P.”, though Thomas Ollive Mabbott attributed the poem to Poe - and solved the riddles. See the page on for more.

The noblest name in Allegory’s page,

The hand that traced inexorable rage;

A pleasing moralist whose page refined,

Displays the deepest knowledge of the mind;

A tender poet of a foreign tongue,

(Indited in the language that he sung.)

A bard of brilliant but unlicensed page

At once the shame and glory of our age,

The prince of harmony and stirling sense,

The ancient dramatist of eminence,

The bard that paints imagination’s powers,

And him whose song revives departed hours,

Once more an ancient tragic bard recall,

In boldness of design surpassing all.

These names when rightly read, a name [make] known

Which gathers all their glories in its own.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59