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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Poems: 1713–17

Extemporaneous Lines

On a Portrait of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Painted by Kneller

THE PLAYFUL smiles around the dimpled mouth,

That happy air of majesty and truth,

So would I draw (but oh! ’t is vain to try;

My narrow Genius does the power deny;)

The equal lustre of the heav’nly mind,

Where ev’ry grace with ev’ry virtue’s join’d;

Learning not vain, and Wisdom not severe,

With Greatness easy, and with Wit sincere;

With just description show the work divine,

And the whole Princess in my work should shine.