Let Sporus tremble'What? that thing of silk, Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk? Satire or sense, alas! can Sporus feel? Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?Alexander Pope: 1735 Of Lord Hervey.'An Epistle to DrArbuthnot', l.305-8.
Orchidbreathing incense into butterfly's wingsMatsuo Basho: c.1689 On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho, no.166 (translated by Lucien Stryk).
An admiral red, whose only notion, (A butterfly poised on a pigtailed ocean) Is of the peruked sea whose swell Breaks on the flowerless rocks of Hell.Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell: 1923 Fa c° ade,'En Famille'.
The toad beneath the harrow knows Exactly where each tooth-point goes; The butterfly upon the road Preaches contentment to that toad. 470(Joseph) Rudyard Kipling: 1886 'Pagett, MP'.
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.Muhammad formerly Cassius Clay Ali: c.1964 Of his boxing style. Quoted in G Sullivan Cassius Clay (1964), ch.8.
The morals of a baboon and the guts of a butterfly.truman capote: Of Kenneth Tynan. Quoted in Gerald Clarke Capote (1988).
The dark notes rose everywhere, so dark, so sombre, they broke into a fountainlight as the rainbow sparkling and immaterial as invisible sources and echoes. The savannahs grew lonelyas the sea and broke again into a wave and forest. Tall trees with black marching boots and feet were clad in the spurs and sharp wings of a butterfly.Rolf Harris: 1960 The Palace of the Peacock, ch.11.
There was a sound of impact, a raspy, dry scream, and the vampire went down hard. It lay on the ground like a butterfly pinned to a card, arms and legs thrashing uselessly. Its chest and collarbone had been crushed. By an entire frozen turkey. A twenty-pounder. The plucked bird must have fallen from an airplane overhead, doubtlessly manipulated by the curse. By the time it got to the ground, the turkey had already reached its terminal velocity, and was still hard as a brick. The drumsticks poked up above the vampire's crushed chest, their ends wrapped in red tinfoil. The vampire gasped and writhed a little more. The timer popped out of the turkey. Everyone stopped to blink at that for a second. I mean, come on. Impaled by a guided frozen turkey missile. Even by the standards of the quasi-immortal creatures of the night, that ain't something you see twice. "For my next trick," I panted into the startled silence, "anvils."jim butcher: Character: Harry Dresden
There is nothing more comfortable than a caterpillar and nothing more made for love than a butterfly. We need dresses that crawl and dresses that fly. Fashion is at once a caterpillar and a butterfly, caterpillar by day, butterfly by nightcoco chanel: Statement in the 1920s as quoted in Chanel (1987) by Jean Leymari
Her reasoning is full of tricksAnd butterfly suggestions,I know no point to which she sticks;She begs the simplest questions,And, when her premises are strongShe always draws her inference wrong.alfred cochrane: Upon Lebia Arguing, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).