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DORINDA at her Glass.

1 DORINDA, once the fairest of the Train,
2 Toast of the Town, and Triumph of the Plain;
3 Whose shining Eyes a thousand Hearts alarm'd,
4 Whose Wit inspired, and whose Follies charm'd:
5 Who, with Invention, rack'd her careful Breast
6 To find new Graces to insult the rest,
7 Now sees her Temples take a swarthy Hue,
8 And the dark Veins resign their beauteous Blue;
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9 While on her Cheeks the fading Roses die,
10 And the last Sparkles tremble in her Eye.
11 Bright Sol had drove the sable Clouds away,
12 And chear'd the Heavens with a Stream of Day,
13 The woodland Choir their little Throats prepare,
14 To chant new Carols to the Morning Air:
15 In Silence wrap'd, and curtain'd from the Day,
16 On her sad Pillow lost Dorinda lay;
17 To Mirth a Stranger, and the like to Ease,
18 No Pleasures charm her, nor no Slumbers please.
19 For if to close her weary Lids she tries,
20 Detested Wrinkles swim before her Eyes;
21 At length the Mourner rais'd her aking Head,
22 And discontented left her hated Bed.
23 But sighing shun'd the Relicks of her Pride,
24 And left the Toilet for the Chimney Side:
25 Her careless Locks upon her Shoulders lay
26 Uncurl'd, alas! because they half were Gray;
27 No magick Baths employ her skilful Hand,
28 But useless Phials on her Table stand:
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29 She slights her Form, no more by Youth inspir'd,
30 And loaths that Idol which she once admir'd.
31 At length all trembling, of herself afraid,
32 To her lov'd Glass repair'd the weeping Maid,
33 And with a Sigh address'd the alter'd Shade.
34 Say, what art thou, that wear'st a gloomy Form,
35 With low'ring Forehead, like a northern Storm;
36 Cheeks pale and hollow, as the Face of Woe,
37 And Lips that with no gay Vermilion glow?
38 Where is that Form which this false Mirror told
39 Bloom'd like the Morn, and shou'd for Ages hold;
40 But now a Spectre in its room appears,
41 All scar'd with Furrows, and defac'd with Tears;
42 Say, com'st thou from the Regions of Despair,
43 To shake my Senses with a meagre Stare?
44 Some stragg'ling Horror may thy Phantom be,
45 But surely not the mimick Shape of me.
46 Ah! yes the Shade its mourning Visage rears,
47 Pants when I sigh, and answers to my Tears:
48 Now who shall bow before this wither'd Shrine,
49 This Mortal Image, that was late Divine?
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50 What Victim now will praise these faded Eyes,
51 Once the gay Basis for a thousand Lyes?
52 Deceitful Beauty false as thou art gay,
53 And is it thus thy Vot'ries find their Pay;
54 This the Reward of many careful Years,
55 Of Morning Labours, and of Noon-day Fears,
56 The Gloves anointed, and the bathing Hour,
57 And soft Cosmetick's more prevailing Pow'r;
58 Yet to thy Worship still the fair Ones run,
59 And hail thy Temples with the rising Sun;
60 Still the brown Damsels to thy Altars pay
61 Sweet-scented Unguents, and the Dews of May;
62 Sempronia smooths her wrinkled Brows with Care,
63 And Isabella curls her grisled Hair:
64 See poor Augusta of her Glass afraid,
65 Who even trembles at the Name of Maid,
66 Spreads the fine Mechlin on her shaking Head,
67 While her thin Cheeks disown the mimick Red.
68 Soft Silvia, who no Lover's Breast alarms,
69 Yet simpers out the Ev'ning of her Charms,
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70 And tho' her Cheek can boast no rosy Dye,
71 Her gay Brocades allure the gazing Eye.
72 But hear, my Sisters Hear an ancient Maid,
73 Too long by Folly, and her Arts betray'd;
74 From these light Trifles turn your partial Eyes,
75 'Tis sad Dorinda prays you to be wise;
76 And thou Celinda, thou must shortly feel
77 The sad Effect of Time's revolving Wheel;
78 Thy Spring is past, thy Summer Sun declin'd,
79 See Autumn next, and Winter stalks behind:
80 But let not Reason with thy Beauties fly,
81 Nor place thy Merit in a brilliant Eye;
82 'Tis thine to charm us by sublimer ways,
83 And make thy Temper, like thy Features, please:
84 And thou, Sempronia, trudge to Morning Pray'r,
85 Nor trim thy Eye-brows with so nice a Care;
86 Dear Nymph believe 'tis true, as you're alive,
87 Those Temples show the Marks of Fifty-five.
88 Let Isabel unload her aking Head
89 Of twisted Papers, and of binding Lead;
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90 Let sage Augusta now, without a Frown,
91 Strip those gay Ribbands from her aged Crown;
92 Change the lac'd Slipper of delicious Hue
93 For a warm Stocking, and an easy Shoe;
94 Guard her swell'd Ancles from Rheumatick Pain,
95 And from her Cheek expunge the guilty Stain.
96 Wou'd smiling Silvia lay that Hoop aside,
97 'Twou'd snow her Prudence, not betray her Pride:
98 She, like the rest, had once her flagrant Day,
99 But now she twinkles in a fainter Ray.
100 Those youthful Airs set off their Mistress now,
101 Just as the Patch adorns her Autumn Brow:
102 In vain her Feet in sparkling Laces glow,
103 Since none regard her Forehead, nor her Toe.
104 Who would not burst with Laughter, or with Spleen,
105 At Prudo, once a Beauty, as I ween?
106 But now her Features wear a dusky Hue,
107 The little Loves have bid her Eyes adieu:
108 Yet she pursues the Pleasures of her Prime,
109 And vain Desires, not subdu'd by Time;
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110 Thrusts in amongst the Frolick and the Gay,
111 But shuts her Daughter from the Beams of Day:
112 The Child, she says, is indolent and grave,
113 And tells the World Ophelia can't behave:
114 But while Ophelia is forbid the Room,
115 Her Mother hobbles in a Rigadoon;
116 Or to the Sound of melting Musick dies,
117 And in their Sockets rolls her blinking Eyes;
118 Or stuns the Audience with her hideous Squal,
119 While Scorn and Satire whisper through the Hall.
120 Hear this, ye fair Ones, that survive your Charms,
121 Nor reach at Folly with your aged Arms;
122 Thus Pope has sung, thus let Dorinda sing;
123 "Virtue, brave Boys, 'tis Virtue makes a King:"
124 Why not a Queen? fair Virtue is the same
125 In the rough Hero, and the smiling Dame:
126 Dorinda's Soul her Beauties shall pursue,
127 Tho' late I see her, and embrace her too:
128 Come, ye blest Graces, that are sure to please,
129 The Smile of Friendship, and the careless Ease;
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130 The Breast of Candour, the relenting Ear,
131 The Hand of Bounty, and the Heart sincere:
132 May these the Twilight of my Days attend,
133 And may that Ev'ning never want a Friend
134 To smooth my Passage to the silent Gloom,
135 And give a Tear to grace the mournful Tomb.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): DORINDA at her Glass.
Author: Mary Leapor
Themes: age; virtue; vice; beauty
Genres: heroic couplet; fable

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Source edition

Poems upon several occasions: By Mrs. Leapor of Brackley in Northamptonshire. London: printed: and sold by J. Roberts, 1748, pp. []-8. 15,[5],282p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T127827; Foxon p. 413; OTA K101776.000)

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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 ECCO-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 3.0.

Other works by Mary Leapor