Alexander Pope

(21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744 / London / England)

In Imitation Of E. Of Dorset : Artemisia

Poem by Alexander Pope

Tho' Artemisia talks, by fits,
Of councils, classics, fathers, wits;
Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke;
Yet in some things methinks she fails,
'Twere well if she would pare her nails,
And wear a cleaner smock.

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.

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.

So have I seen, in black and white
A prating thing, a Magpye hight,
Majestically stalk;
A stately, worthless animal,
That plies the tongue, and wags the tail,
All flutter, pride, and talk.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010