Mary Leapor

(1722 - 1746 / England)

Strephon to Celia


Madam

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 --

Strephon

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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