This electronic edition makes the text available for the first time in over 200 years from the single known copy in the world. As an electronic edition in Romantic Circles, the poem is machine-readable, enabling access not only to those without physical access, but also to those with sight disabilities in the spirit of its twentieth-century collector, Marguerite Hicks. The editor has replaced the long s (ſ) with its more familiar counterpart but retains Morgan’s idiosyncratic orthography. To differentiate between Morgan’s original footnotes and those the editor has added for context or clarity, each note is prefaced with Author’s note or Editor’s note, as appropriate.


This edition makes available for the first time in 200 years Mary, the Osier-Peeler, a Simple but True Story: A Poem, printed in 1798 by John White in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Authored anonymously “By a Lady,” this poem is now extant in only one copy currently located in the Marguerite Hicks Collection of Women’s Writings held by Oakland University.


Mary, the Osier-Peeler

May an artless muse sing of a maid,
Who ventur’d her osiers to steep,
In that stream, where our Milton oft stray’d
To unburthen his soul, and to weep:
To weep for his Lycidas, sent
To that country, whence none can return;
Where, to hear his melodious lament,
Gentle Camus would rest on his urn?


Originally Published Date: 1798

Date Published
Technical Editor