Alexander Pope

On the Countess of Burlington Cutting Paper

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Hom…






Pallas grew vapourish once, and odd,
She would not do the least right thing,
Either for goddess, or for god,
Nor work, nor play, nor paint, nor sing.

Jove frown'd, and, 'Use,' he cried, 'those eyes
So skilful, and those hands so taper;
Do something exquisite and wise -'
She bow'd, obey'd him, - and cut paper.

This vexing him who gave her birth,
Thought by all heaven a burning shame;
What does she next, but bids, on earth,
Her Burlington do just the same.

Pallas, you give yourself strange airs;
But sure you'll find it hard to spoil
The sense and taste of one that bears
The name of Saville and of Boyle.

Alas! one bad example shown;
How quickly all the sex pursue!
See, madam, see the arts o'erthrown,
Between John Overton and you!

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