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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Early Poems: Imitations of English Poets

Earl of Dorset: Artemisia

THO’ Artemisia talks by fits

Of councils, classics, fathers, wits,

Reads Malbranche, Boyle, and Locke,

Yet in some things methinks she fails:

’T were 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 magpie hight,

Majestically stalk;

A stately worthless animal,

That plies the tongue, and wags the tail,

All flutter, pride, and talk.