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Alexander Pope

(21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744 / London / England)

Impromptu, to Lady Winchelsea


In vain you boast Poetic Names of yore,
And cite those Sapho's we admire no more:
Fate doom'd the Fall of ev'ry Female Wit,
But doom'd it then when first Ardelia writ.
Of all Examples by the World confest,
I knew Ardelia could not quote the best;
Who, like her Mistress on Britannia's Throne;
Fights, and subdues in Quarrels not her own.
To write their Praise you but in vain essay;
Ev'n while you write, you take that Praise away:
Light to the Stars the Sun does thus restore,
But shines himself till they are seen no more.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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