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A Latin Word Square, From Harper's


Behold my first! In her palmy days
(In the time of my second, you understand)
She had many poets who sang her praise,
Had soldiers and statesmen and wealth to amaze,
Her fame was unrivalled in many ways—
She had no equal in all the land.

Again to the time of my second refer,
And spell that backward, my third behold—
A hero of monstrous strength. They aver
He held up a temple its fall to defer,
And ate forty pounds (but I hope 'tis a slur)
Every day for his food, both hot and cold.

Now spell my first backward, my fourth appears,
The greatest power of any time.
All poets have sung of its hopes and fears,
All men have known it with smiles and tears,
It has ruled and will rule for years and years
In every nation and every clime.

Now take my word square and look all about,
Sideways, across, and down the middle,
Not a word can be found there by spy or scout
Which can not be spelled upside down, inside out,
All in Latin, you know; but now I've no doubt
You've guessed every word of this easy riddle.