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                  Ephelia (fl.1679)

      To one that asked me why I lov'd J.G.

    WHy do I Love? go, ask the Glorious Sun
    Why every day it round the world doth Run:
    Ask Thames and Tyber, why they ebb and flow:
    Ask Damask Roses why in June they blow:
    Ask Ice and Hail, the reason, why they're Cold:
    Decaying Beauties, why they will grow Old:
    They'l tell thee, Fate, that every thing doth move,
    Inforces them to this, and me to Love.
    There is no Reason for our Love or Hate,
    'Tis irresistible, as Death or Fate;
    'Tis not his Face; I've sense enough to see,
    That is not good, though doated on by me:
    Nor is't his Tongue, that has this Conquest won;
    For that at least is equall'd by my own:
    His carriage can to none obliging be,
    'Tis Rude, Affected, full of Vanity:
    Strangely Ill natur'd, Peevish and Unkind,
    Unconstant, False, to Jealousie inclin'd;
    His Temper cou'd not have so great a Pow'r,
    'Tis mutable, and changes every hour:
    Those vigorous Years that Women so Adore
    Are past in him: he's twice my age and more;
    And yet I love this false, this worthless Man,
    With all the Passion that a Woman can;
    Doat on his Imperfections, though I spy
    Nothing to Love; I Love, and know not why.
    Sure 'tis Decreed in the dark Book of Fate,
    That I shou'd Love, and he shou'd be ingrate.


The above poem can be found in:
  • Ephelia. Female Poems on Several Occasions. London: Printed by William downing, for James Courtney, 1679. (as found in Poems by Ephelia (c.1679): The Premier Facsimile Edition of the Collected Manuscript and Published Poems with a Critical Essay and Apparatus by Maureen E. Mulvihill. New York: Delmar, 1992.)
  • Mulford, Wendy, ed. Love Poems by Women. New York: Fawcett Columbine, 1990.

    For more information on the true identity of Ephelia (Mary Villiers), see:

  • Ephelia. Mulvihill, Maureen, E., ed. Aldershot, Hampshire, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2003.

    This new, authoritative edition presents all of the essential texts, plus a newly-found broadsheet poem addressed to Charles II on the Popish Plot (1679), displaying a Royal, but worn, printer's ornament (a woodcut factotum) which presents two distinguished figures: a crowned Stuart king and a crowned female figure, being either Queen Henrietta Maria or a young Mary Villiers Stuart, Duchess of Richmond, in her ducal coronet. Dr. Mulvihill's research on the ornament (Summer, 2005; see Appendix D of her online archive, referenced just below) valuably located two precedents of this woodblock in Royalist-related publications of 1660 and 1663. The new Ashgate 'Ephelia' (2003) also includes an extended Introduction & Bibliography, brief textual notes, and four images, including two portraits of Duchess Mary by Van Dyck.

    Also see Mulvihill's illustrated archive on Ephelia, at http://www.millersville.edu/~resound/ephelia/.