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

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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,

DEBORAH DOUGH

Montagu, “An Answer to a Love-Letter, In Verse” read by Sarah Smethurst

Source: UMW Montagu’s “An Answer to a Love-Letter, In Verse”

Is it to me this sad lamenting strain?
Are Heaven’s choicest gifts bestow’d in vain?
A plenteous fortune and a beauteous bride,
Your love rewarded, and content your pride;
Yet, leaving her, ’tis me that you pursue,
Without one single charm — but being new.
How vile is man! How I detest the ways
Of covert falsehood and designing praise!
As tasteless, easier happiness you slight,
Ruin your joy, and mischief your delight.
Why should poor pug (the mimic of your kind)
Wear a rough chain, and be to box confin’d?
Some cup, perhaps, he breaks, or tears a fan,
While moves, unpunish’d, the destroyer man;
Not bound by vows, and unrestrain’d by shame,
In sport you break the heart, and rend the fame.
Not that your art can be successful here,
Th’ already plunder’d need no robber fear.
Nor sighs nor charms, nor flattery, can move,
Too well secur’d against a second love.
Once, and but once, that devil charm’d my mind,
To reason deaf, to observation blind,
I idly hop’d (what cannot Love persuade!)
My fondness equall’d and my truth repaid:
Slow to distrust, and willing to believe;
Long hush’d my doubts, I would myself deceive.

Bradstreet, four poems read by Kate Reading

Source: Listentogenius.com. Includes “A Love Letter to Her Husband,” “Another,” “Another (II),” and “Contemplations.”

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Bradstreet, “A Letter to Her Husband Absent Upon Public Employment” read by Ianna Drake

Source: LibriVox.org. Download Title

My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay, more,
My joy, my magazine* of earthly store, *storehouse
If two be one, as surely thou and I,
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lie?
So many steps, head from the heart to sever,
If but a neck, soon should we be together.
I like the Earth this season, mourn in black,
My Sun is gone so far in’s zodiac,
Whom whilst I ‘joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt,
His warmth such frigid colds did cause to melt.
My chilled limbs now numbed lie forlorn;
Return; return, sweet Sol, from Capricorn;
In this dead time, alas, what can I more
Than view those fruits which through thy heat I bore?
Which sweet contentment yield me for a space,
True living pictures of their father’s face.
O strange effect! now thou art southward gone,
I weary grow the tedious day so long;
But when thou northward to me shalt return,
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast,
The welcome house of him my dearest guest.
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence,
Till nature’s sad decree shall call thee hence;
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone,
I here, thou there, yet but both one.

Bradstreet, “A Letter to Her Husband Absent Upon Public Employment” read by Alan Davis-Drake

Source: LibriVox.org. Download Title

My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay, more,
My joy, my magazine* of earthly store, *storehouse
If two be one, as surely thou and I,
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lie?
So many steps, head from the heart to sever,
If but a neck, soon should we be together.
I like the Earth this season, mourn in black,
My Sun is gone so far in’s zodiac,
Whom whilst I ‘joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt,
His warmth such frigid colds did cause to melt.
My chilled limbs now numbed lie forlorn;
Return; return, sweet Sol, from Capricorn;
In this dead time, alas, what can I more
Than view those fruits which through thy heat I bore?
Which sweet contentment yield me for a space,
True living pictures of their father’s face.
O strange effect! now thou art southward gone,
I weary grow the tedious day so long;
But when thou northward to me shalt return,
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast,
The welcome house of him my dearest guest.
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence,
Till nature’s sad decree shall call thee hence;
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone,
I here, thou there, yet but both one.

Finch, “A Letter To Daphnis April the 2nd 1685” read by Marie McAllister

Source: UMW. Includes very short introduction. Download link

This to the crown and blessing of my life,
The much loved husband of a happy wife;
To him whose constant passion found the art
To win a stubborn and ungrateful heart,
And to the world by tenderest proof discovers
They err, who say that husbands can’t be lovers.
With such return of passion as is due,
Daphnis I love, Daphnis my thoughts pursue;
Daphnis my hopes and joys are bounded all in you.
Even I, for Daphnis’ and my promise’ sake,
What I in women censure, undertake.
But this from love, not vanity, proceeds;
You know who writes, and I who ’tis that reads.
Judge not my passion by my want of skill:
Many love well, though they express it ill;
And I your censure could with pleasure bear,
Would you but soon return, and speak it here.

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