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The Wish
Mary Chudleigh



Would but indulgent Fortune send
To me a kind, and faithful Friend,
One who to Virtue’s Laws is true,
And does her nicest Rules pursue;
One Pious, Lib’ral, Just and Brave,
And to his Passions not a Slave;
Who full of Honour, void of Pride,
Will freely praise, and freely chide;
But not indulge the smallest Fault,
Nor entertain one slighting Thought:
Who still the same will ever prove,
Will still instruct and still will love:
In whom I safely may confide,
And with him all my Cares divide:
Who has a large capacious Mind,
Join’d with a Knowledge unconfin’d:
A Reason bright, a Judgement true,
A Wit both quick, and solid too:
Who can of all things talk with Ease,
And whose Converse will ever please:
Who charm’d with Wit, and inward Graces,
Despises Fools with tempting Faces;
And still a beauteous Mind does prize
Above the most enchanting Eyes:
I would not envy Queens their State,
Nor once desire a happier Fate.

This poem is in the public domain.



Lady Mary Chudleigh (1656 - 1710) was a woman ahead of her time, churning out feminist rhetoric even as she lived her life within the rigid confines of seventeenth century England. Well educated despite the lack of formal training provided for women during that time, Mary was a wife and mother with a wide circle of intelligent, supportive female friends. Not much else is known about her; there is speculation that her marriage was not a happy one, but Mary’s husband obviously tolerated his wife's writing and, apparently, preserved it. As a result, her poems and essays remain popular three centuries after her death.



Post New Comment:
Goodness me! Makes me very curious to find out more. I wonder if her hubby ever read that. It actually read very well. A lovely poem.
Posted 05/29/2015 12:52 AM
How beautiful. Can't believe how old it is. Will look for more of hers.
Posted 05/26/2015 05:55 AM

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