Mary Leapor

(1722 - 1746 / England)

Mira's Will


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;
My Vice and Folly let Oblivion close,
The World already is o'erstock'd with those;
My Wit I give, as Misers give their Store,
To those who think they had enough before.
Bestow my Patience to compose the Lives
Of slighted Virgins and neglected Wives;
To modish Lovers I resign my Truth,
My cool Reflexion to unthinking Youth;
And some Good-nature give ('tis my Desire)
To surly Husbands, as their Needs require;
And first discharge my Funeral -- and then
To the small Poets I bequeath my Pen.

Let a small Sprig (true Emblem of my Rhyme)
Of blasted Laurel on my Hearse recline;
Let some grave Wight, that struggles for Renown,
By chanting Dirges through a Market-Town,
With gentle Step precede the solemn Train;
A broken Flute upon his Arm shall lean.
Six comick Poets may the Corse surround,
And All Free-holders, if they can be found:
Then follow next the melancholy Throng,
As shrewd Instructors, who themselves are wrong.
The Virtuoso, rich in Sun-dry'd Weeds,
The Politician, whom no Mortal heeds,
The silent Lawyer, chamber'd all the Day,
And the stern Soldier that receives no Pay.
But stay -- the Mourners shou'd be first our Care,
Let the freed Prentice lead the Miser's Heir;
Let the young Relict wipe her mournful Eye,
And widow'd Husbands o'er their Garlick cry.

All this let my Executors fulfil,
And rest assur'd that this is Mira's Will,
Who was, when she these Legacies design'd,
In Body healthy, and compos'd in Mind.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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