Strange Graces

khnopff
Ladies, like variegated tulips, show,
‘Tis to their changes that their charms they owe;
Their happy spots the nice admirer take,
Fine by defect, and delicately weak.
‘Twas thus Calypso once each heart alarm’d,
Aw’d without virtue, without beauty charm’d;
Her tongue bewitch’d as oddly as her eyes,
Less wit than mimic, more a wit than wise;
Strange graces still, and stranger flights she had,
Was just not ugly, and was just not mad;
Yet ne’er so sure our passion to create,
As when she touch’d the brink of all we hate.
from:  To a Lady on the Characters of Women  by Alexander Pope

 

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