To Lady Winchelsea,
Occasioned by four Satirical Verses on Women Wits,
In The Rape of the Lock

In vain you boast poetic names of yore,
And cite those Sapphos we admire no more:
Fate doomed the fall of every female wit;
But doomed it then, when first Ardelia writ.
Of all examples by the world confessed,
I knew Ardelia could not quote the best;
Who, like her mistress on Britannia’s throne,
Fights and subdues in quarrels not her own.
To write their praise you but in vain essay;
Even while you write, you take that praise away.
Light to the stars the sun does thus restore,
But shines himself till they are seen no more.