Verse > Alexander Pope > Complete Poetical Works
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Alexander Pope (1688–1744).  Complete Poetical Works.  1903.
 
Poems: 1718–27
On a Certain Lady at Court
 
          Catharine Howard, one of Queen Caroline’s waiting-women; afterward Countess of Suffolk and mistress to George II. Her identification as the Chloe of Moral Essays, II., makes it easier to believe Walpole’s statement that this lady once reprieved a condemned criminal that ‘an experiment might be made on his ears for her benefit.’

I KNOW the 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,        5
Not grave thro’ Pride, nor gay thro’ 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:        10
When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman’s deaf and does not hear.
 
 
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