The Wish

By Lady Mary Chudleigh 1656–1710 Lady 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.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Lady Mary Chudleigh 1656–1710

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Subjects Love, Realistic & Complicated

Biography

Lady Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710) was a devout Anglican who educated herself and, ahead of her time, challenged traditional gender roles. “To the Ladies” appeared in Poems on Several Occasions (1703); it echoes the feminist argument she set forth in The Female Advocate; or, A Plea for the Just Liberty of the Tender Sex and Particularly of Married Women.

Continue reading this biography

Poems by Lady Mary Chudleigh

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD 17th Century

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.