17
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If I am dead there is no death,
But nor would life exist,
No universe would ever be,
No water, earth, or stone.

No riddle ever spoke or read,
My binding spell escapes,
Unconquered by the darkness yet,
Though light escapes my fate.

I appear in the fire’s flames,
Lurk in the dragon’s den,
The number of a man acclaimed,
Within me there resides.

I am really not sure if this riddle is too easy or too hard, I'll leave that to you to decide.

Minor hint:

I am not mentioned in the poem.

Big hint:

The riddle is in the words, not ideas

Almost spoiler:

Look at the last word of every line

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  • $\begingroup$ Beautiful not-so-rhyming riddle! Congratulations on your very first post on the Puzzling.SE (Puzzling Stack Exchange)! :D $\endgroup$ – Feeds Jul 21 '18 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ It's very impressive indeed that the whole puzzle is in near-perfect iambic heptameter! (Oh, if only it were possible to substitute "The dark" for "Darkness"..) $\endgroup$ – Bass Jul 22 '18 at 9:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @user477343! I've had the idea for this riddle for a long time, but just never got round to it. I just decided to bash it together on Saturday afternoon. $\endgroup$ – hat Jul 23 '18 at 6:43
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass maybe with a bit of work I could fix that : ) $\endgroup$ – hat Jul 23 '18 at 6:44
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Well, you could conceivably be

the letter e.

That would figure, since

every word mentioned in the poem as being affected contains the letter e:

If I am dead there is no death,
But nor would life exist,
No universe would ever be,
No water, earth, or stone.

No riddle ever spoke or read,
My binding spell escapes,
Darkness has never conquered me,

But then there's this line:

Though light escapes my fate.

and light, indeed, is free from that particular influence. The final stanza begins

I appear in the fire’s flames,
In the dragon’s den I live,

and the acclaimed man would then be

either John Napier or Leonhard Euler

because

$e$, the base of the natural logarithm, is usually called either "Euler's number" or "Napier's constant".

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  • $\begingroup$ Great job! There is still one aspect of the poem you have missed, though! $\endgroup$ – hat Jul 23 '18 at 6:46

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