Archive for May 4th, 2015

Monday, 4 May 2015

To Grammaticus by Mary Leapor


MIRA wou’d with Tears atone
For all the Mischief she has done;
Sincerely mourns (believe it true)
The sending of her Rhymes to you.

The Wound my Verses gave your Ear,
Was undesign’d it will appear;
Nor in the least the Fault of me,
As by this Sorrow you may see.
And cou’d I in our Meadows find,
Among the vegetable Kind,
A healing Simple, that wou’d cure
Those smarting Pangs which you endure:

Whose Juice the Matrons well esteem
For Cuts and Bruises that are green,
I’d send it with an Heart most willing,
Tho’ it shou’d cost me half a Shilling:
Yet I can serve you but in Will,
For I’ve consulted Doctor Pill,
Who tells me that a Case like yours
Will not admit of common Cures;
For that Incisions made by Rhymes
Are worse than Ulcers fifty times:
He gives a Reason that is clear,
Because they always strike the Ear,
And give un-utterable Pain
To the small Fibres of the Brain:
Yet as the Doctor is my Friend,
His Worship order’d me to send
This grand Receipt which he has known,
To serve in Cases like your own:
Tis true, the Drug is something rare,
And yet I wou’d not quite despair;
But hope the Med’cine may be found
Within the Space of British Ground:

This Balsam then I’d have you seek,
No matter for its Name in Greek;
But sure ’tis call’d (or I am wrong)
Good-nature in the English Tongue:
The Doctor swears by all his Skill,
If this don’t ease you, nothing will;
To either Ear be this apply’d,
(The better if ’tis quickly try’d)
Then fill the hollow Spaces full
With Aqua-vitoe drop’d on Wool:
And take a special Care be sure,
No Poets come about your Door:
For you might keep the Bench of Law,
Or hear the squeaking of a Saw,
More safely by a hundred times,
Than half a Page of modern Rhymes:
But when you gather Strength a little,
Can walk abroad and eat your Vittle?
As you are mighty fond of Verse,
Let some with gentle Voice rehearse:
How Corn grows now where Troy Town stood,
Or else the Children in the Wood:

These gentle Numbers will compose
Your Spirits and your Eye-lids close!
Those Slumbers will complete the Cure;
Now, Sir, your Servant, and—no more.

From: Leapor, Mrs., Poems Upon Several Occasions: By Mrs. Leapor of Brackley in Northamptonshire, 1748, J. Roberts: London, pp. 123-126.

Date: 1748

By: Mary Leapor (1722-1746)