Sylvia, A Fragment.

A poem 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.

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