Biography of Mary Leapor
Mary Leapor was christened on 26 Feb 1722 at Marston St Lawrence. Her father, Phillip Leapor, was a Brackley man, who was a gardener employed by Sir John Blencowe until 1726. Her mother was Anne Sharman from Weston by Weedon.
Mary was a poetess, and was also employed in service as a cook maid in Weston working for Susannah Jennens, the married daughter of John Blencowe, whose husband owned Weston Hall. Mary fell out of favour in the household, but returned to her parents home in Brackley, from where she died and was buried 'in wool' in Brackley on 14 November 1746.
Mary Leapor produced a substantial body of exceptional poetry which was only published after her early death at the age of twenty-four.
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Mary Leapor Poems
An Epistle to a Lady
In 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.
Man the Monarch
Amaz'd we read of Nature's early Throes How the fair Heav'ns and pond'rous Earth arose: How blooming Trees unplanted first began; And Beasts submissive to their Tyrant, Man:
Strephon to Celia
Madam I hope you'll think it's true I deeply am in love with you,
When Friends or Fortune frown on Mira's Lay, Or gloomy Vapours hide the Lamp of Day; With low'ring Forehead, and with aching Limbs, Oppress'd with Head-ach, and eternal Whims,
IMPRIMIS -- My departed Shade I trust To Heav'n -- My Body to the silent Dust; My Name to publick Censure I submit, To be dispos'd of as the World thinks fit;
Man the Monarch
Amaz'd we read of Nature's early Throes
How the fair Heav'ns and pond'rous Earth arose:
How blooming Trees unplanted first began;
And Beasts submissive to their Tyrant, Man:
To Man, invested with despotic Sway,
While his mute Brethren tremble and obey;
Till Heav'n beheld him insolently vain,
And checked the Limits of his haughty Reign.
Then from their Lord, the rude Deserters fly,