[Page 81]


1 STREPHON the sprightly and the gay,
2 Lov'd Celia fresh and fair as May:
3 None shone so brilliant in the Mall,
4 The Court, th' Assembly and the Ball;
5 None bare at Will's the laurel'd Prize,
6 But Celia with the killing Eyes.
7 'Twas at the Drawing Room or Play,
8 (But which our Author cannot say)
9 As Celia roll'd her Eyes around,
10 This Youth receiv'd a mortal Wound.
11 What shou'd he do? "Commence the Beau,
12 "For Women oft are caught by Show. "
13 The wounded Strephon now behold,
14 Array'd in Coat of Green and Gold,
15 (Of which we something might advance)
16 The Sleeve was a-la-mode de France.
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17 We leave it here and haste to tell,
18 How smartly round his Temples fell
19 The modish Wig. Yet we presume,
20 More graceful was the scarlet Plume:
21 Tho' some rude Soldier (doom'd to bear
22 The Southern and the Northern Air,
23 And walk through ev'ry kind of Weather)
24 Might jeer at Strephon's scarlet Feather;
25 And tell us such shou'd ne'er be wore,
26 Unless you fought at Marston-moor.
27 His Person finish'd, now the Care
28 Is to address and gain the Fair:
29 He purchas'd all the Songs of Note,
30 And got the Lover's Cant by rote:
31 He brib'd her Footmen and her Maids,
32 And with his nightly Serenades
33 Her vaulted Roofs and Gardens rung:
34 For her he ogled, danc'd and sung;
35 Was often at her Toilet seen,
36 With Sonnets to the Paphian Queen:
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37 Then at her Feet dejected lying,
38 Praying, weeping, sighing, dying.
39 "Was Celia kind?"It shall be known:
40 D'ye think our Hearts are made of Stone?
41 Yes, she was kind, and to proceed,
42 The Writings drawn and Friends agreed:
43 Grave Hymen's sacred Knot was ty'd,
44 And Celia Fair commenc'd a Bride.
45 But I shall pass the Wedding-day,
46 Nor stay to paint the Ladies gay,
47 Nor Splendor of the lighted Hall,
48 The Feast, the Fiddles, nor the Ball.
49 A lovely Theme! 'Tis true, but then
50 We'll leave it to a softer Pen:
51 Those transient Joys will fade too soon,
52 We'll therefore skip the Hony-Moon.
53 'Twas half a Year It might be more,
54 Since Celia brought her shining Store,
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55 Five thousand Pounds of Sterling clear,
56 To bless the Mansion of her Dear.
57 Some tell us Wives their Beauties lose,
58 When they have spoil'd their bridal Shoes:
59 Some learned Casuists make it clear,
60 A Wife might please for half a Year:
61 And others say, her Charms will hold
62 As long as the suspended Gold;
63 But that her Bloom is soon decay'd,
64 And wither'd when her Fortune's paid.
65 Now which of these was Celia's Case,
66 (Tho' all are common to her Race)
67 I shall not rack my Brains about,
68 But leave the Learn'd to pick it out.
69 This Husband, whimsical and gay,
70 Lov'd Musick, Masquerades, and Play,
71 Was one of those most happy Elves,
72 That dote upon their charming Selves:
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73 Who hating dull domestick Walls,
74 Fly here and there as Fancy calls;
75 Still in pursuit of something new,
76 Nor even to their Vices true.
77 Mistaken Strephon finds no more
78 His Celia charming as before:
79 Her Eyes! Why, they have lost their Fire:
80 The Roses on her Cheek expire.
81 Her Shape 'Tis alter'd strangely, sure;
82 Her Voice no Mortal can endure.
83 Then to the Park where Claudia rolls
84 Her Eyes to fish for shallow Souls:
85 Or at the Play he must appear,
86 For lovely Lindamine is there:
87 No mortal Bell so fair as she,
88 If wretched Strephon was but free.
89 I'th' Country he deludes the Morn
90 With Ringwood and the hunting Horn:
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91 Perhaps may with his Dearest dine,
92 Then hey for Company and Wine;
93 Wine that wou'd make an Hermit gay,
94 With Musick intermix'd and Play.
95 For Tables and for Cards they call:
96 The Dice-box rattles in the Hall.
97 Now all are happy nor give o'er,
98 Till Watches point to Number Four:
99 Then see the Face of dawning Day:
100 Here Lucy. "Where's your Lady, pray?
101 "She's gone to rest. There let her be,
102 "Go make the crimson Bed for me."
103 All this a while in Silence pass'd,
104 The Lady's Patience fail'd at last.
105 One Morning (so the Fates decree)
106 Alone was sitting he and she:
107 Not yet arriv'd the roaring Band,
108 Nor Rake nor Coxcomb was at hand.
109 This blest Occasion pleas'd the Fair,
110 And with a mild and chearful Air,
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111 She thus began: "My Strephon say,
112 "Why this dejected Face to day?
113 "Why art thou always cross and dull,
114 "Unless the noisy Rooms are full?
115 "Black Discontent and Anger lies
116 "Close lurking in thy sullen Eyes;
117 "Those Eyes that I with Sorrow see
118 "Disgusted when they roll on me.
119 Here ceas'd the greatly injur'd Bride,
120 And Strephon with a Blush reply'd:
121 "Why, Madam, I must own that you,
122 "Have Merit, (give the De'l his due)
123 "And was the Pleasure of my Life,
124 "Before you wore the Name of Wife:
125 "But Ma'm, the Reason was, I find,
126 "That while a Lover I was blind:
127 "And now the Fault is not in me,
128 "'Tis only this that I can see.
129 I thought you once a Goddess trim,
130 "The Graces dwelt on ev'ry Limb:
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131 "But, Madam, if you e'er was such,
132 "Methinks you're alter'd very much:
133 "As first (I beg your Pardon tho')
134 "You hold your Head extremely low:
135 "And tho' your Shape is not awry,
136 "Your Shoulders stand prodigious high:
137 "Your curling Hair I durst have swore,
138 "Was blacker than the sable Moor:
139 "But now I find 'tis only brown,
140 "A Colour common through the Town:
141 "'Tis true you're mighty fair But now
142 "I spy a Freckle on your Brow;
143 "Your Lips I own are red and thin,
144 "But there's a Pimple on your Chin:
145 "Besides your Eyes are gray. Alack!
146 "'Till now I always thought 'em black.
147 "Thus, Madam, I the Truth have told;
148 "'Tis true, I thank you for your Gold;
149 "But find in searching of my Breast,
150 "That I cou'd part with all the rest.
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151 He ceas'd And both were mute a while,
152 'Till Celia answer'd with a Smile:
153 "Who would have thought, my Dear, says she,
154 "That Love was blind to this degree;
155 "But in my Turn I'll own it too,
156 "That I'm as much deceiv'd as you:
157 "From hence let our Example show
158 "The gay Coquette and sprightly Beau;
159 "That Love like theirs will never hold,
160 "Not tho' 'tis cemented with Gold:
161 "Let all the Youths to you repair,
162 "For Counsel and to me the Fair.
163 "'Twill help to make our Strephons wise,
164 "And stop the Growth of tender Lies:
165 "And more than Plato's moral Page
166 "Instruct the Celia's of the Age.
167 "But now, my Dearest, as you see
168 "In mutual Hatred we agree,
169 "Methinks 'tis better we retreat,
170 "Each Party to a distant Seat;
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171 "And tho' we value each the other,
172 "Just as one Rush regards another:
173 "Yet let us often send to hear,
174 "If Health attend the absent Dear:
175 "And tho' each other we would shun,
176 "As Debtors do a hateful Dun:
177 "(Nor mind the crossing of a Street)
178 "Yet let's be civil when we meet,
179 "And live in short like courtly Friends:
180 "They part and thus the Story ends.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The MISTAKEN LOVER.
Author: Mary Leapor
Themes: sex; relations between the sexes
Genres: narrative verse
References: DMI 23742

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Leapor, Mrs. (Mary), 1722-1746. Poems upon several occasions: By Mrs. Leapor of Brackley in Northamptonshire. London: printed: and sold by J. Roberts, 1748, pp. 81-90. 15,[5],282p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T127827; Foxon p. 413; OTA K101776.000) (Page images digitized from a copy at University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Mary Leapor