The Poetry Corner

Imitations Of English Poets. Earl Of Dorset: Artemisia.

By Alexander Pope

1 Though Artemisia talks, by fits, Of councils, classics, fathers, wits; Reads Malebranche, Boyle, and Locke: Yet in some things methinks she fails-- 'Twere well if she would pare her nails, And wear a cleaner smock. 2 Haughty and huge as High-Dutch bride, Such nastiness, and so much pride Are oddly join'd by fate: On her large squab you find her spread, Like a fat corpse upon a bed, That lies and stinks in state. 3 She wears no colours (sign of grace) On any part except her face; All white and black beside: Dauntless her look, her gesture proud, Her voice theatrically loud, And masculine her stride. 4 So have I seen, in black and white A prating thing, a magpie height, Majestically stalk; A stately, worthless animal, That plies the tongue, and wags the tail, All flutter, pride, and talk. PHRYNE. 1 Phryne had talents for mankind, Open she was, and unconfined, Like some free port of trade: Merchants unloaded here their freight, And agents from each foreign state Here first their entry made. 2 Her learning and good breeding such, Whether the Italian or the Dutch, Spaniards or French came to her: To all obliging she'd appear, 'Twas 'Si, Signor,' 'twas 'Yaw, Mynheer,' 'Twas 'S' il vous plait, Monsieur.' 3 Obscure by birth, renown'd by crimes, Still changing names, religions, climes, At length she turns a bride: In diamonds, pearls, and rich brocades, She shines the first of batter'd jades, And flutters in her pride. 4 So have I known those insects fair, (Which curious Germans hold so rare) Still vary shapes and dyes; Still gain new titles with new forms; First grubs obscene, then wriggling worms, Then painted butterflies.