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

Poems: 1713–17

The Looking-Glass

  • On Mrs. Pulteney
  • Mrs. Pulteney was a daughter of one John Gumley, who had made a fortune by a glass manufactory.

  • WITH scornful mien, and various toss of air,

    Fantastic, vain, and insolently fair,

    Grandeur intoxicastes her giddy brain,

    She looks ambition, and she moves disdain.

    Far other carriage graced her virgin life,

    But charming Gumley’s lost in Pulteney’s wife.

    Not greater arrogance in him we find,

    And this conjunction swells at least her mind.

    O could the sire, renown’d in glass, produce

    One faithful mirror for his daughter’s use!

    Wherein she might her haughty errors trace,

    And by reflection learn to mend her face:

    The wonted sweetness to her form restore,

    Be what she was, and charm mankind once more.