On a Certain Lady at Court


I know a thing that's most uncommon;
(Envy, be silent and attend!)
I know a reasonable woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a friend.

Not warp'd by passion, awed by rumour;
Not grave through pride, nor gay through folly;
An equal mixture of good-humour
And sensible soft melancholy.

'Has she no faults then (Envy says), Sir?'
Yes, she has one, I must aver:
When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman's deaf, and does not hear.

Alexander Pope, 1688-1744

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