Leapor, “The Epistle of Deborah Dough” read by Mackenzie Hard


Source: UMW

“The Epistle of Deborah Dough”

Dearly beloved Cousin, these

Are sent to thank you for your cheese;

The price of oats is greatly fell:

I hope your children all are well

(Likewise the calf you take delight in),

As I am at this present writing.

But I’ve no news to send you now;

Only I’ve lost my brindled cow,

And that has greatly sunk my dairy.

But I forgot our neighbour Mary;

Our neighbour Mary – who, they say,

Sits scribble-scribble all the day,

And making – what – I can’t remember

But sure ’tis something like December;

A frosty morning – let me see –

O! now I have it to a T:

She throws away her precious time

In scrawling nothing else but rhyme,

Of which, they say, she’s mighty proud,

And lifts her nose above the crowd;

Though my young daughter Cicely

Is taller by a foot than she,

And better learned (as people say);

Can knit a stocking in a day;

Can make a pudding, plump and rare,

And boil her bacon to a hair;

Will coddle apples nice and green,

And fry her pancakes – like a queen.

But there’s a man that keeps a dairy

Will clip the wings of neigbour Mary:

Things wonderful they talk of him,

But I’ve a notion ’tis a whim.

Howe’er, ’tis certain he can make

Your rhymes as thick as plums in cake;

Nay more, they say that from the pot

He’ll take his porridge scalding hot,

And drink ’em down – and yet they tell ye

Those porridge shall not burn his belly;

A cheesecake o’er his head he’ll throw,

And when ’tis on the stones below,

It shan’t be found so much as quaking,

Provided ’tis of his wife’s making.

From this some people would infer

That this good man’s a conjuror:

But I believe it is a lie;

I never thought him so, not I,

Though Win’fred Hobble who, you know,

Is plagued with corns on every toe,

Sticks on his verse with fastening spittle,

And says it helps her feet a little.

Old Frances too his paper tears

And tucks it close behind her ears;

And (as she told me t’other day)

It charmed her toothache quite away.

Now as thou’rt better learned than me,

Dear Cos’, I leave it all to thee,

To judge about this puzzling man,

And ponder wisely – for you can.

Now, Cousin, I must let you know

That, while my name is Deborah Dough,

I shall be always glad to see ye,

And what I have, I’ll freely gi’ ye.

‘Tis one o’clock, as I’m a sinner,

The boys are all come home to dinner,

And I must bid you now farewell.

I pray remember me to Nell;

And for your friend I’d have you know

Your loving Cousin,


Verses from a Lady at Bath dying with a Consumption to her Husband by Elizabeth Welwood Molesworth read by Natalie Furman

Dixon, “Verses left on a Lady’s Toilet” read by Alaina Zitzmann

Source: UMW.
Sarah Dixon: “Verses left on a Lady’s Toilet” 1740

When Celia frowns, I vow and swear
She makes both friends and foes despair:
I hate to think that things so vain
As heedless maids and dirty men,
A dish ill-cooked, a glass unwashed,
A petticoat wrong cut and slashed,
Should make good humour, wit, and sense
Give way to their impertinence.
Rather let me with sops in ale,
In nut-brown bowl, myself regale;
In Scottish plod, or Irish frieze,
Let me be dressed, if toys like these,
So foreign to substantial joy,
Can Celia’s peace of mind destroy.



Goldsmith, “An Elegy On the Glory of Her Sex, Mrs. Mary Blaize” read by Carolyn Frances

Source: LibriVox.org. An Elegy

Vanbrugh, “Song” (from The Provok’d Wife) read by Marie McAllister

Source: UMW. Vanbrugh Song

Walsh, “The Despairing Lover” read by Philippa

Source: LibriVox. Download Title

The Despairing Lover

Distracted with care
For Phyllis the fair,
Since nothing could move her,
Poor Damon, her lover,
Resolves in despair
No longer to languish,
Nor bear so much anguish;
But, mad with his love,
To a precipice goes,
Where a leap from above
Would soon finish his woes.

When in rage he came there,
Beholding how steep
The sides did appear,
And the bottom how deep;
His torments projecting,
And sadly reflecting,
That a lover forsaken
A new love may get,
But a neck, when once broken,
Can never be set;
And that he could die
Whenever he would;
But that he could live
But as long as he could:
How grievous soever
The torment might grow,
He scorn’d to endeavour
To finish it so.
But bold, unconcern’d,
At thoughts of the pain,
He calmly return’d
To his cottage again.

Prior, “A Reasonable Affliction” read by Carolyn Frances

Source: LibriVox.org. Download Title

Dryden, “Fair Iris I Love and Hourly I Die” read by Ransom

Source: LibriVOx.org. Download Title
[Note: long silence at beginning.]

Fair Iris I love and hourly I die,
But not for a lip nor a languishing eye:
She’s fickle and false, and there I agree;
For I am as false and as fickle as she:
We neither believe what either can say;
And, neither believing, we neither betray.

‘Tis civil to swear and say things, of course;
We mean not the taking for better or worse.
When present we love, when absent agree;
I think not of Iris, nor Iris of me:
The legend of love no couple can find
So easy to part, or so equally join’d.

Prior, “On My Birthday, July 21” read by Byron McAllister

Source: UMW. Download

I, MY dear, was born to-day–
So all my jolly comrades say:
They bring me music, wreaths, and mirth,
And ask to celebrate my birth:
Little, alas! my comrades know
That I was born to pain and woe;
To thy denial, to thy scorn,
Better I had ne’er been born:
I wish to die, even whilst I say–
‘I, my dear, was born to-day.’
I, my dear, was born to-day:
Shall I salute the rising ray,
Well-spring of all my joy and woe?
Clotilda, thou alone dost know.
Shall the wreath surround my hair?
Or shall the music please my ear?
Shall I my comrades’ mirth receive,
And bless my birth, and wish to live?
Then let me see great Venus chase
Imperious anger from thy face;
Then let me hear thee smiling say–
‘Thou, my dear, wert born to-day.’

Duke, “Caelia,” various readers

1) Read by Jessica Eadie. Source UMW.duke-caelia-jessica-eadie

2) Read by Warren Rochelle. Source: UMW. Download link 

3) Read by Marie McAllister. Source: UMW. Download link