Mary Masters

Short Name: Mary Masters
Full Name: Masters, Mary, 1694/1706-1759/1771
Birth Year (est.): 1706
Death Year (est.): 1759

Masters, Mary. Biographical facts concerning Mrs. Masters are very few. In 1733 she published a volume of PoemsFamiliar Letters and Poems on Several Occasions, (Lon. D. H. Cave). These Poems include versified epistles on various subjects to her friends, Odes, and a few paraphrases of single Psalms, &c. From the Preface to her Poems, 1733, we find that Thomas Scott took an interest in her, and contributed some Poems to that volume. It is evident also from the following extract that she was in humble circumstances, and without a liberal education:—

"The author of the following poems never read a Treatise of Rhetorick, or an Art of Poetry, nor was ever taught her English Grammar. Her Education rose no higher than the Spelling Book, or the Writing Master: her Genius to Poetry was always browbeat and discountenanced by her Parents, and till her Merit got the better of her Fortune, she was shut out from all Com¬merce with the more knowing and polite part of the world." Poems, 1733: Preface.

In her Familiar Letters and Poems, 1755, pp. 228-29, there are three "Short Ejaculations," the first of which is the well known :—

'Tis Religion that can give,
Sweetest Pleasures while we live;
'Tis Religion must supply,
Solid comforts when we die,
After Death its Joys will be,
Lasting as Eternity."

When these lines were included in Kippon's Selection, 1787, the following were added:—

"Be the living God my Friend,
Then my bliss shall never end:"

and the 8 lines were divided into two stanzas. In this form the hymn is known to modern collections.
An ejaculation for use "At the Altar" is sometimes met with. It is also in the Familiar Letters, &c, p. 229, and reads:—

"0 my ador'd Redeemer! deign to be,
Now present with the mystic Bread to me;
May I the Blessings of Thy Blood partake,
Who drink the Sacred Wine for Thy dear sake,

This volume also contains a few hymns which are worthy of attention.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

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The database ORLANDO: Women's Writing in the British Isles from the Beginnings to the Present has a birth date of 1694 and death date of 1771.

--Tina Schneider, 2 May 2014.


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