Alexander Pope

In Imitation of E. of Dorset : Artemisia

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) is regarded as one of the greatest English poets, and the foremost poet of the early eighteenth century. He is best known for his satirical and discursive poetry, including The Rape of the Lock, The Dunciad, and An Essay on Criticism, as well as for his translation of Hom…






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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