How much, egregious Moor, are we
Deceiv'd by Shews and Forms!
Whate'er we think, whate'er we see,
All Humankind are Worms.

Man is a very Worm by Birth,
Vile Reptile, weak, and vain!
A while he crawls upon the Earth,
Then shrinks to Earth again.

That Woman is a Worm we find,
E'er since our Grandame's Evil;
She first convers'd with her own Kind,
That antient Worm, the Devil.

The Learn'd themselves we Book-Worms name;
The Blockhead is a Slow-worm;
The Nymph whose Tail is all on Flame
Is aptly term'd a Glow-worm:

The Fops are painted Butterflies,
That flutter for a Day;
First from a Worm they take their Rise,
And in a Worm decay:

The Flatterer an Earwig grows;
Thus Worms suit all Conditions;
Misers are Muckworms, Silk-worms Beaus,
And Death-watches Physicians.

That Statesmen have the Worm, is seen
By all their winding Play;
Their Conscience is a Worm within,
That gnaws them Night and Day.

Ah Moore! thy skill were well employ'd,
And greater Gain would rise,
if thou could'st make the Courtier void
The Worm that never dies!

O learned Friend of Abchurch-Lane,
Who sett'st our Entrails free!
Vain is thy Art, thy Powder vain,
Since Worms shall eat ev'n thee.

Our Fate thou ounly can'st adjourn
Some few short Years, no more!
Ev'n Button's Wits to Worms shall turn,
Who Maggots were before.

On a Lady who P---st at the Tragedy of Cato
Bounce to Fop

Alexander Pope