Matthew Prior

1664 - 1721 / Dorset / England

The Modern Saint

Her time with equal prudence Silvia shares,
First writes her billet-doux, then says her prayers,
Her mass and toilette, vespers, and the play;
Thus God and Ashtaroth divide the day:
Constant she keeps her Ember-week and Lent,
At Easter calls all Israel to her tent:
Loose without bawd, and pious without zeal,
She still repeats the sins she would conceal.
Envy herself from Silvia's life must grant,
An artful woman makes a modern saint.
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