Ode To Elizabeth Bennet

This is a poem written from the point of view of Caroline Bingley, a wealthy lady, to Elizabeth Bennett; the woman whom the man Caroline wishes to marry admires. Despite her obvious arrogance and haughty pride, the poem is a bitter rant of jealousy and Caroline's evident belief that Elizabeth Bennett will amount to very little; despite the fact that Elizabeth is a far better person than Caroline will ever be.


1. Ode To Elizabeth Bennet

From her dearest friend, Miss Caroline Bingley


My lips a full, rich scarlet

And skin most perfect white

Your lips a fading crimson

Complexion tanned and bright

My hands as soft as doeskins

Your skin as rough as bark

A figurative nightingale

And you, its rival lark

My skirts of silk are richer

Than the muslin of your gown

My hat-pins flecked with diamonds

Your bonnet straw and brown

You eye the glossy spruce wood

Of my pianoforte keys

Your fingers fumble gracelessly

Mine – nimble – glide with ease

You are not swift or practised

And cannot sew or thread

You have no wealth to spoil yourself

Nor suitors in your stead

Unladylike and headstrong,

Your tongue is sharp with wit

Your thoughts are voiced too often

For a lady, most unfit

You frolic in the muddy fields

No taste of luxury

While I recline on silken chaise

And stitch embroidery

My voice can pitch soprano

But yours is sickly sweet

And likewise is your adroit gaze

Your smile makes my blood heat

You cannot make a marriage

For even if you could

You cannot run a household

As every woman should

You are not vain or taken

By your unhandsome looks

Are not well-versed in languages

Nor read the history books

No man would glance upon you

A simple, common girl

Your limp and mousey hair devoid

Of silky ringlet curls

Your sisters, wanton. Of this

Your youngest is the boast

For who could e’er forget the girl

Your mother favours most?

And your mother; what a story!

My dear, I must confess

Of your classless family she

Is lacking most finesse

I pity you, Elizabeth

For your ill-fated life

I hear tales of your mother

Making friction, causing strife

Your family is dysfunctional

Your sisters run amok

It seems you and your dearest, Jane

Are faced with vile luck

You may think we are similar

(Somewhat, we are the same)

But what I have, which you need most

Is a wealthy, powerful name

For you have neither land or house,

No manor; not a ditch

And since your father has not boys,

Take care to marry rich

But not mine shall you marry,

Fitzwilliam is my own

And if any man should marry you

Who sits a social throne

Then I suggest you white your skin

And curl your lifeless hair

And do not let him slip away!

Such man would be so rare.

For if a man was blind enough

To praise your handsome face

If he thought it attractive -

Your common lack of grace -

You would have sense to close your lips

Not highlight his mistakes

For in a woman, silence

Is a most desirable trait

And if he shares his passions

Round the fireplace with you

You must smile serenely, quietly,

Say that you enjoy them too

Aha! I laugh to think it:

Elizabeth, serene?

For even now, you swan around

As if you are a Queen

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