Alexander Pope

21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744 / London / England

Phyrne

Phryne had talents for mankind,
Open she was, and unconfin'd,
Like some free port of trade:
Merchants unloaded here their freight,
And Agents from each foreign state,
Here first their entry made.

Her learning and good breeding such,
Whether th' Italian or the Dutch,
Spaniards or French came to her:
To all obliging she'd appear:

'Twas
Si Signior
, 'twas
Yaw Mynheer
,
'Twas
S'il vous plaist, Monsieur.

Obscure by birth, renown'd by crimes,
Still changing names, religions, climes,
At length she turns a Bride:
In di'monds, pearls, and rich brocades,
She shines the first of batter'd jades,
And flutters in her pride.

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.
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