The Visit (1746)

Mary Leapor

With walking sick, with curtseys lame,
And frighted by the scolding dame,
Poor Mira once again is seen
Within the bounds of Goslin-Green.
O Artemisia! dear to me
As to the lawyer golden fee;
Whose name dwells pleasant on my tongue,
And first and last shall grace my song;
Receive within your friendly door
A wretch that vows to rove no more.
In some close corner let me hide,
Remote from compliments and pride;
Where morals grave, or sonnets gay,
Delude the guiltless, cheerful day;
Where we a sprightly theme may find,
Besides enquiring where’s the wind,
Or whispering who and who’s together,
And criticising on the weather;
Where careless creatures such as I,
May ‘scape the penetrating eye
Of students in physiognomy;
Who read your want of wit or grace
Not from your manners, but your face;
Whose tongues are for a week supplied
From one poor mouth that’s stretched too wide;
Who greatly blame a freckled hand,
A skinny arm, full shoulders; and,
Without a microscope, can spy
A nose that’s placed an inch awry.
In vain to gloomy shades you flee,
Like mice, in darkness they can see;
In vain to glaring lights you run,
Their eyes can face a mid-day sun:
You’ll find no safety in retreat,
Like sharks they never mince their meat;
Their dreadful jaws they open throw,
And, if they catch you, down you go.

Learn more about the language of this poem in the
Oxford English Dictionary:

wind, n.1  close, adj. and adv.  physiognomy, n.