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Exactly So

Lady T Hastings 1682 (Charles Street, London) – 1739 (Ledston Hall, Yorkshire)

A speech, both pithy and concise,
Marks a mind acute and wise;
What speech, my friend, say, do you know,
Can stand before "Exactly so?"

I have a dear and witty friend
Who turns this phrase to every end;
None can deny that "Yes" or "No"
Is meant in this "Exactly so."

Or when a bore his ear assails,
Good-humour in his bosom fails,
No response from his lips will flow,
Save, now and then, "Exactly so."

Is there remark on matters grave
That he may wish perchance to waive,
Or thinks perhaps is rather slow,
He stops it by "Exactly so."

It saves the trouble of a thought -
No sour dispute can thence be sought;
It leaves the thing in statu quo,
This beautiful "Exactly so."

It has another charm, this phrase,
For it implies the speaker's praise
Of what has just been said - ergo -
It pleases, this "Exactly so."

Nor need the conscience feel distress,
By answ'ring wrongly "No" or "Yes;"
It 'scapes a falsehood, which is low,
And substitutes "Exactly so."

Each mortal loves to think he's right,
That his opinion, too, is bright;
Then, Christian, you may soothe your foe
By chiming in "Exactly so."

Whoe'er these lines may chance peruse,
Of this famed word will see the use,
And mention where'er he may go,
The praises of "Exactly so."

Of this more could my muse relate,
But you, kind reader, I'll not sate;
For if I did you'd cry "Hallo!
I've heard enough" - "Exactly so."

Lady T. Hastings.

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Submitted on August 03, 2020

1:22 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,382
Words 279
Stanzas 11
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 1

Lady T Hastings

Lady Elizabeth Hastings (19 April 1682 – 21 December 1739), also known as Lady Betty, was an English philanthropist, religious devotee and supporter of women's education. She was an intelligent and energetic woman, with a wide circle of connections, including artists, writers and designers, an astute business investor and proponent of innovative farming techniques. She refused several marriage offers and on her death in 1739, her nephew Francis inherited her estate at Ledston. The rest of her property was used to endow various educational trusts, which still provide funds for scholarships at The Queen's College, Oxford, and the 'Lady Elizabeth Hastings Charities'. In addition, a number of primary schools in West Yorkshire bear her name. more…

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    "Exactly So" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 26 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56051/exactly-so>.

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