An Epistle to a Lady
- by Mary Leapor 23In vain, dear Madam, yes in vain you strive;
Alas! to make your luckless Mira thrive,
For Tycho and Copernicus agree,
No golden Planet bent its Rays on me.
'Tis twenty Winters, if it is no more;
To speak the Truth it may be Twenty four.
As many Springs their 'pointed Space have run,
Since Mira's Eyes first open'd on the Sun.
'Twas when the Flocks on slabby Hillocks lie,
And the cold Fishes rule the wat'ry Sky:
But tho these Eyes the learned Page explore,
And turn the pond'rous Volumes o'er and o'er,
I find no Comfort from their Systems flow,
But am dejected more as more I know.
Hope shines a while, but like a Vapour flies,
(The Fate of all the Curious and the Wise)
For, Ah! cold Saturn triumph'd on that Day,
And frowning Sol deny'd his golden Ray.
You see I'm learned, and I shew't the more,
That none may wonder when they find me poor.
Yet Mira dreams, as slumbring Poets may,
And rolls in Treasures till the breaking Day:
While Books and Pictures in bright Order rise,
And painted Parlours swim before her Eyes:
Till the shrill Clock impertinently rings,
And the soft Visions move their shining Wings:
Then Mira wakes,-- her Pictures are no more,
And through her Fingers slides the vanish'd Ore.
Convinc'd too soon, her Eye unwilling falls
On the blue Curtains and the dusty Walls:
She wakes, alas! to Business and to Woes,
To sweep her Kitchen, and to mend her Clothes.
But see pale Sickness with her languid Eyes,
At whose Appearance all Delusion flies:
The World recedes, its Vanities decline,
Clorinda's Features seem as faint as mine!
Gay Robes no more the aching Sight admires,
Wit grates the Ear, and melting Music tires:
Its wonted pleasures with each sense decay,
Books please no more, and paintings fade away,
The sliding Joys in misty Vapours end:
Yet let me still, Ah! let me grasp a Friend:
And when each Joy, when each lov'd Object flies,
Be you the last that leaves my closing Eyes.
But how will this dismantl'd Soul appear,
When stripp'd of all it lately held so dear,
Forc'd from its Prison of expiring Clay,
Afraid and shiv'ring at the doubtful Way.
Yet did these Eyes a dying Parent see,
Loos'd from all Cares except a Thought for me,
Without a Tear resign her short'ning Breath,
And dauntless meet the ling'ring Stroke of Death.
Then at th' Almighty's Sentence shall I mourn:
"Of Dust thou art, to Dust shalt thou return."
Or shall I wish to stretch the Line of Fate,
That the dull Years may bear a longer Date,
To share the Follies of succeeding Times
With more Vexations and with deeper Crimes:
Ah no -- tho' Heav'n brings near the final Day,
For such a Life I will not, dare not pray;
But let the Tear for future Mercy flow,
And fall resign'd beneath the mighty Blow.
Nor I alone -- for through the spacious Ball,
With me will Numbers of all Ages fall:
And the same Day that Mira yields her Breath,
Thousands may enter through the Gates of Death.
Strephon to Celia
- by Mary Leapor 15Madam
I hope you'll think it's true
I deeply am in love with you,
When I assure you t'other day,
As I was musing on my way,
At thought of you I tumbled down
Directly in a deadly swoon:
And though 'tis true I'm something better,
Yet I can hardly spell my letter:
And as the latter you may view,
I hope you'll think the former true.
You need not wonder at my flame,
For you are not a mortal dame:
I saw you dropping from the skies;
And let dull idiots swear your eyes
With love their glowing breast inspire,
I tell you they are flames of fire,
That scorch my forehead to a cinder,
And burn my very heart to a tinder.
Your breast so mighty cold, I trow,
Is made of nothing else but snow:
Your hands (no wonder they have charms)
Are made of ivory like your arms.
Your cheeks, that look as if they bled,
Are nothing else but roses red.
Your lips are coral very bright,
Your teeth -- though numbers out of spite
May say they're bones -- yet 'twill appear
They're rows of pearls exceeding rare.
Now, madam, as the chat goes round,
I hear you have ten thousand pound:
But that as I a trifle hold,
Give me your person, dem your gold;
Yet for your own sake 'tis secured,
I hope -- your houses too insured;
I'd have you take a special care,
And of false mortgages beware;
You've wealth enough 'tis true, but yet
You want a friend to manage it.
Now such a friend you soon might have,
By fixing on your humble slave;
Not that I mind a stately house,
Or value money of a louse;
But your five hundred pounds a year,
I would secure it for my dear:
Then smile upon your slave, that lies
Half-murdered by your radiant eyes;
Or else this very moment dies --
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