Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
By Alexander Pope (1688–1744)
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        5
  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;        10
’T was Si Signior, ’t was Yaw Mynheer,
  ’T was S’il vous plait, Monsieur.
Obscure by birth, renown’d by crimes,
Still changing names, religions, climes,
  At length she turns a bride;        15
In diamonds, 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)        20
  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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