Come riddle-me-ree, come riddle-me-ree,
And tell me, what my name may be.
I am nearly one hundred and thirty years old,
And therefore no chicken, as you may suppose; --
Though a dwarf in my youth (as my nurses have told),
I have, ev'ry year since, been outgrowing my clothes;
Till, at last, such a corpulent giant I stand,
That if folks were to furnish me now with a suit,
It would take ev'ry morsel of scrip in the land
But to measure my bulk from the head to the foot.
Hence, they who maintain me, grown sick of my stature,
To cover me nothing but rags will supply;
And the doctors declare that, in due course of nature,
About the year 30 in rags I shall die.
Meanwhile I stalk hungry and bloated around,
An object of int'rest, most painful, to all;
In the warehouse, the cottage, the palace I'm found,
Holding citizen, peasant, and king in my thrall.
Then riddle-me-ree, oh riddle-me-ree,
Come, tell me what my name may be.