"My simple System shall suppose, / That Alma enters at the Toes; / That then She mounts by just Degrees / Up to the Ancles, Legs, and Knees: / Next, as the Sap of Life does rise, / She lends her Vigor to the Thighs: / And, all these under-Regions past,/ She nestles somewhere near the Waste."
— Prior, Matthew (1664-1721)
That Alma enters at the Toes;
That then She mounts by just Degrees
Up to the Ancles, Legs, and Knees:
Next, as the Sap of Life does rise,
She lends her Vigor to the Thighs:
And, all these under-Regions past,
She nestles somewhere near the Waste:
Gives Pain or Pleasure, Grief or Laughter;
As We shall show at large hereafter.
Mature, if not improv'd, by Time
Up to the Heart She loves to climb:
From thence, compell'd by Craft and Age,
She makes the Head her latest Stage.
See Prior's Alma: Or, The Progress of the Mind. In Three Cantos published in Poems on Several Occasions (London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Barber, 1718). <Link to ECCO>
Searching text from Poems on Several Occasions, ed. A. R. Waller (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1905). Reading The Literary Works of Matthew Prior, ed. H. Bunker Wright and Monroe K. Spears. 2 vols. 2nd Edition (Oxford: Oxford UP, 1971).