Verse > Alexander Pope > Complete Poetical Works
Alexander Pope (1688–1744).  Complete Poetical Works.  1903.
Poems: 1718–27
Answer to the Following Question of Mrs. Howe
          Mary Howe was appointed Maid of Honour to Queen Caroline, in 1720. ‘Lepell’ was another Maid of Honour,

WHAT is Prudery?
            ’T is a beldam,
Seen with Wit and Beauty seldom.
’T is a fear that starts at shadows;
’T is (no, ’t is n’t) like Miss Meadows.        5
’T is a virgin hard of feature,
Old, and void of all good-nature;
Lean and fretful; would seem wise,
Yet plays the fool before she dies.
’T is an ugly envious shrew,        10
That rails at dear Lepell and you.

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