Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
279. On a Certain Lady at Court
 
Henrietta Howard, Countess of Suffolk
 
Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
 
 
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 warped by passion, awed by rumour,        5
  Not grave through pride, or 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:        10
When all the world conspires to praise her
  The woman’s deaf, and does not hear!
 

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