The Poetry Corner

Sylvia, A Fragment.

By Alexander Pope

Sylvia my heart in wondrous wise alarm'd Awed without sense, and without beauty charm'd: But some odd graces and some flights she had, Was just not ugly, and was just not mad: Her tongue still ran on credit from her eyes, More pert than witty, more a wit than wise: Good-nature, she declared it, was her scorn, Though 'twas by that alone she could be borne: Affronting all, yet fond of a good name; A fool to pleasure, yet a slave to fame: Now coy, and studious in no point to fall, Now all agog for D----y at a ball: Now deep in Taylor, and the Book of Martyrs, Now drinking citron with his Grace and Chartres. Men, some to business, some to pleasure take; But every woman's in her soul a rake. Frail, feverish sex; their fit now chills, now burns: Atheism and superstition rule by turns; And a mere heathen in the carnal part, Is still a sad good Christian at her heart.