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Today I added a word to my vocabulary which is best described with a riddle:

Born during the second's reign whose life ended to the lance
For centuries I was used to transport mail or dress for any circumstance

I was reborn anew from an egg's observation for a rhyme yet unraveled
To help a girl born from song, not sung, during her odyssey untraveled

Monosyllabic, I am not, for I am comprised of three
A wine, a beau, then a sequel too are what my sounds should be

What word did I learn today?

Update: Lines 5 & 6 added as an additional hint

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  • $\begingroup$ Since a word /phrase of English language is sought, those two tags are apt and needed, I feel. $\endgroup$ – Mea Culpa Nay Nov 3 '17 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ @MeaCulpaNay Fair enough point and I've updated the tags, though the word isn't of English origin. The first line provides the hint to what language it's derived from. $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 3 '17 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ for transporting mail? (although perhaps chainmail) $\endgroup$ – Jasen Nov 4 '17 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Jasen Yup, even mail. Check the wikipedia disambiguation page, as this word has a bit of split personality... Normally I wouldn't link the answer in a comment, but since it has already been solved... $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 4 '17 at 13:54
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The answer is

portmanteau.

Born during the second's reign whose life ended to the lance
For centuries I was used to transport mail or dress for any circumstance

As @Drt mentioned, this refers to King Henri II, who reigned in the early-to-mid 1500s. The first known use of the word was in 1553, and it referred to a type of carrying case (literally, "to carry a cloak").

I was reborn anew from an egg's observation for a rhyme yet unraveled
To help a girl born from song, not sung, during her odyssey untraveled

This refers to Humpty Dumpty from Through the Looking-Glass, where Lewis Carroll reinvented the word to refer to a linguistic blending of two words.

Monosyllabic, I am not, for I am comprised of three
A wine, a beau, then a sequel too are what my sounds should be

PORT + MAN + TEAU

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you have got it without the added lines? I suspect they made this too obvious. $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 3 '17 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnEisbrener I was pretty sure of the literary connection, but I couldn't pinpoint the correct word until the phonetic help. I guess I didn't realize that word existed before LC. $\endgroup$ – kayzeroshort Nov 3 '17 at 16:52
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I have a feeling about this...

King Henri II was killed from a lance run through his head/eye.

He lived from 1519 to 1559.

In that time the King would be dressed by his

Varlet who was also often responsible for delivering messages (mail) etc.

The last two line of the riddle make me think of a different usage of the term

Varlet

Which caused me, in my early days to think that the term meant "a dishonorable man"...The story came about because of a story I was told about a woman who killed a

Varlet

because he killed her prize egg laying hen and then made her cook it for him for his supper...

Otherwise I have no idea.

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  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right track, but this isn't the answer. Definitely worthy of an up-vote because you properly identified the clue provided by the first line. $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 2 '17 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ I added an additional set of lines to the riddle. Hopefully that helps get you the rest of the way there! $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 3 '17 at 15:49
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I have two ideas, so at least one is wrong, probably both! However I propose:

PATENT

because:

The patent system was invented in the reign of Henri II. "Letters patent" and "patent leather" are both things.

Alternatively:

COURIER

because:

It's a French word for a message transporter, and your message is written in New Courier font.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Neither are correct, but the second was quite familiar with what I am. $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 3 '17 at 14:54
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Most likely it is

ARMOUR

As,

Born during the second's reign whose life ended to the lance

For centuries I was used to transport mail or dress for any circumstance

During the King Henri II's times, an armour parade was getting conducted (a kind of practise)and an armour can be used to protect men (especially during sword fighting / fencing / lance fight and generally in warfare), also a kind of mail (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_(armour) ).

I was reborn anew from an egg's observation for a rhyme yet unraveled

To help a girl born from song, not sung, during her odyssey untraveled

Though, not sure, an egg's shell protects the life/ yet to born animals and similarly an aromour protects the body of the person who wears it. Not sure about the last part, though!

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  • $\begingroup$ I like the commonality you've identified, but this is not the correct answer. $\endgroup$ – John Eisbrener Nov 3 '17 at 14:55

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