Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
The Answer
By Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea (1661–1720)
 
To Pope’s Impromptu

DISARM’D with so genteel an air,
  The contest I give o’er;
Yet Alexander, have a care,
  And shock the sex no more.
We rule the world our life’s whole race,        5
  Men but assume that right;
First slaves to every tempting face,
  Then martyrs to our spite.
You of one Orpheus sure have read,
  Who would like you have writ        10
Had he in London town been bred,
  And polish’d too his wit;
But he poor soul thought all was well,
  And great should be his fame,
When he had left his wife in hell,        15
  And birds and beasts could tame.
Yet venturing then with scoffing rhymes
  The women to incense,
Resenting heroines of those times
  Soon punish’d his offence.        20
And as the Hebrus roll’d his scull,
  And harp besmear’d with blood,
They clashing as the waves grew full,
  Still harmonis’d the flood.
But you our follies gently treat,        25
  And spin so fine the thread,
You need not fear his awkward fate,
  The lock won’t cost the head.
Our admiration you command
  For all that’s gone before;        30
What next we look for at your hand
  Can only raise it more.
Yet sooth the Ladies I advise
  (As me too pride has wrought,)
We’re born to wit, but to be wise        35
  By admonitions taught.
 
 
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