I'm by nature solitary, scarred by spear and wounded by sword, weary of battle. I frequently see the face of war, and fight hateful enemies; yet I hold no hope of help being brought to me in the battle, before I'm eventually done to death. In the stronghold of the city sharp-edged swords, skilfully forged in the flame by smiths, bite deeply into me. I can but await a more fearsome encounter; it is not for me to discover in the city any of those doctors who heal grievous wounds with roots and herbs. The scars from sword wounds gape wider and wider; death blows are dealt to me by day and by night.
On my own, I am darkness, a black abyss. But, Life brings me light with its gentle kiss. I am quiet and cold, but warmth I can hold. Alongside beauties and wonders, sights to be told. My surface may be bare, this I'm aware. But, beautiful secrets I am eager to share. My mouth so large, I swallow you whole. To be in my belly is your goal. What may lie within can drive men to sin. Greed and desire, gluttony's kin. For some, I am fear. For others, hope. My perception shaped from life's scope. From the earth I have come, and forever will stay, even if parts of me crumble away. What am I?
I'm in the book, but not on any leaf; I'm in the mouth, but not in lip or teeth; I'm in the atmosphere, but never in the air; I wait on every one, but never on a pair; I am with you wherever you may go; And every thing you do I’m sure to know; Though when you did it I should not be there, Yet when ’twas done, you’d find me in the chair. What am I?