In Answer to a Lady Who Advised Retirement
by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762)
You little know the heart that you advise:
I view this various scene with equal eyes;
In crowded courts I find myself alone,
And pay my worship to a nobler throne.
Long since the value of this world I know;
Pitied the folly, and despis’d the show;
Well as I can, my tedious part I bear,
And wait dismissal without pain or fear.
Seldom I mark mankind’s detested ways,
Not hearing censure or affecting praise;
And unconcern’d my future fate I trust
To that sole Being, merciful and just!