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THE EAGLE, THE KITE, AND THE COCK.

An Emblematic Fable, most respectfully addressed to the Right Hon. General C——y. Written in the year 1788.
* It is not to be supposed this alludes to the present most noble Marquis of S——y.

1 In former days when birds could speak,
2 And held their courts three times a week,
3 Nay, had their councils held debate
4 Had Lords and Commons, Church and State;
5 With gentle sway an Eagle reign'd,
6 His charity the poor maintained;
7 So mild benignant that his mind,
8 To heaven-born clemency inclined;
9 Mercy and justice prop'd his throne,
10 His deeds are through Britannia known;
11 But to sum up this Eagle's praise,
12 Our Royal George his worth displays;
13 But as the best of Eagles may
14 By evil birds be led astray,
15 He placed his confidence delight,
16 In a dissembling, cruel Kite;
17 From Hatfield's woods the tyrant came,
18 Nay, Hatfield still can tell his name;
19 The generous heart is soon deceived,
20 The Kite professed, his King believed;
21 And fatal tarnish to his reign,
22 He named the Kite, L—d C——b——n;
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23 Then all that had a claim, or right,
24 Must pay obeisance to this Kite;
25 But to pourtray his wily deeds,
26 Attend the fact that now succeeds:
27 In Eagle's court there dwelt a Cock,
28 That rear'd a numerous happy flock;
29 For nineteen chicks his dame did brink,
30 Fifteen he meant to serve their King;
31 And gentle partlets worth and grace,
32 Adorned the little guiltless race;
33 This Cock the Eagle's fire had served,
34 And of the son had much deserved;
35 He fought their battles, spilt his blood,
36 Yet to his post he firmly stood;
37 But when returned, he deemed it hard,
38 Never to share the least reward;
39 But with his partlet meek and kind,
40 In sad obscurity he pined;
41 To raise their pretty helpless flock,
42 Solely employed the valiant Cock;
43 'Till chance his piteous tale conveyed,
44 To charming R—l—y's peaceful shade;
45 Where dwelt a bird of noble race,
46 His mind was fraught with every grace,
47 His heart to worthiest deeds inclined,
48 He felt the woes of all his kind;
49 And acting for the general good,
50 Resolved to quit his favourite wood;
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51 The wider to extend his sway,
52 To Eagle's Court he winged his way;
53 To bless a nation's ample round,
54 The monarch's confidence he found;
55 When near the throne, in power high,
56 He viewed our Cock with pitying eye;
57 His Godlike mind, on blessing bent,
58 A gracious mandate quickly sent;
59 And thus our injur'd bird address'd:
60 "Thy wrongs by me shall be redress'd;
61 " Repair with speed to Eagle's court,
62 "My interest shall thy cause support."
63 The Cock obey'd, his grateful brood,
64 With tears of joy his hands bedew'd.
65 Behold him placed to serve his King,
66 Beneath the shade of C——y's wing;
67 His heart was loyal, actions pure,
68 Poor bird! he deem'd his bliss secure;
69 His partlet happy, chickens good,
70 He hoped no griefs would e'er intrude;
71 But ah! how blind to human fate!
72 Between the ins and outs of state
73 There rose, alas! a stern debate.
74 How fatal to our Cock's repose,
75 'Twas then his baleful planet rose;
76 His noble patron guardian friend,
77 No longer would at court attend.
78 The Eagle cried (his friends then few)
79 "And wilt thou leave me, H——d, too?"
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80 He look'd, he sigh'd, to Eagle bow'd,
81 (The softest thoughts his memory croud)
82 "I've serv'd thee long, my gracious Sire,
83 " My honor bids me now retire;
84 "I cannot league with those that fawn,
85 " H——d's retirement marks their dawn;
86 "Thy name I bless, thy worth revere,
87 " Nought but my conscience half so dear.
88 "Beloved Liege! these truths receive,
89 " And now with prayers I take my leave. "
90 'Twas then the Lords, with courtly grace,
91 Tried to succeed to H——d's place;
92 Though many tried, not one could boast
93 Those charms the King in H——d lost;
94 At length the Kite the Eagle pleas'd,
95 And swift the envied station seiz'd;
96 His specious manner, artful smile,
97 The unsuspecting soon beguile.
98 The Cock, not lowest in his train,
99 Wishes his friendship to obtain;
100 For his dear chicks (even birds aspire)
101 He wish'd to rise a little higher;
102 With winning grace the artful Kite,
103 Promis'd to aid the soldier's right;
104 He said," a council sits on high,
105 "I'll bear thy wishes to the sky;
106 " Eagle will ne'er reject thy prayer,
107 "Soldiers are children of his care;
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108 " I'll bring his gracious pleasure down,
109 "And may success my efforts crown!"
110 The Cock he crows with hope elate,
111 In triumph views his future fate;
112 To partlet and her groupe he flies;
113 "My love, my dearest chicks, he cries,
114 " The generous Kite supports my claim,
115 "Be ever blest his honor'd name!"
116 Meek partlet weeps the chickens dance,
117 And think in life they'll have a chance:
118 Ah! blind to fate! the storm impends,
119 That blights thy hopes, destroys thy friends;
120 The gloomy power from ebon throne
121 That birds and beasts, even man must own,
122 Aim'd at poor partlet's breast a blow
123 That laid her and her wishes low:
124 The widow'd Cock reclin'd his head:
125 Depress'd with sorrow, reason fled;
126 His chicks exert their softest powers,
127 To soothe their parent's languid hours;
128 But all their filial duty fail'd,
129 His wild delirium still prevail'd;
130 A doctor then, with solemn face,
131 Declar'd the Cock's a doubtful case;
132 And to the C——b——n did send
133 His oath, that he could not attend:
134 'Twas in that sad, that anguish'd hour,
135 The Kite exerted cruel power;
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136 The loyal Cock next day disgraced,
137 Another in his room was placed;
138 And birds there were (perhaps too bold)
139 Declar'd, Lord Kite the place had sold;
140 Mean time the Cock held lingering strife
141 Between the powers of death and life;
142 And when returning reason came,
143 Remembrance faint, he could not name
144 The Kite, but cried, "my chickens dear,
145 " He is my friend, I need not fear;
146 "For your dear sakes I'll life endure;
147 " While I exist, your bread's secure;
148 "Ye are too young your food to gain,
149 " Or storms of winter to sustain;
150 "And more without a father's care,
151 " What will not birds of prey oft dare! "
152 Languid and weak, no more he said,
153 But meek reclin'd his drooping head;
154 Fondly then view'd his children near,
155 And soon discern'd the starting tear;
156 For long his chicks their grief represt,
157 At length it burst their suffering breast;
158 That cruel Kite, detested name!
159 Had him depriv'd of bread and fame;
160 He trembled, look'd, his heart grew sick,
161 Yet thus address'd his eldest chick:
162 " Sweet emblem of my partlet's worth,
163 "Child of my love from early birth,
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164 " Thy widow'd parent's fate behold,
165 "Now lost, expos'd to want and cold,
166 " The victim of contempt and scorn,
167 "Of treachery too; ah me forlorn!
168 " Survey these chicks of tender age;
169 "Let these thy every power engage;
170 " Go seek the Kite, o'er him prevail,
171 "The plea of innocence can't fail;
172 " He will not persevere in wrong,
173 "But listen to thy guiltless tongue;
174 " Exert thyself, a parent's need
175 "Will teach a daughter how to plead."
176 The chick replied, her tears supprest,
177 While varied passions tear her breast,
178 "Beloved parent! swift I go:"
179 She stopt her tears began to flow:
180 Then wildly to the Kite she flies,
181 With drooping wings and languid eyes;
182 The serving birds, in order ranged,
183 Believ'd the chicken much deranged;
184 Denied her entrance said that he
185 Would never any stranger see:
186 She gasp'd for breath, she tried to speak,
187 She look'd yet still the look was meek;
188 Her meekness pleas'd her looks prevail,
189 For when did ever meekness fail?
190 They let the little chicken in,
191 And thus the trembler did begin:
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192 "Pardon, great Lord! nor think me rude;
193 " For mercy justice I intrude;
194 "The daughter of the injur'd Cock;
195 " I come from him from all his flock;
196 "Low at thy feet a victim see;
197 " She prays for him that trusted thee:
198 "Be gracious then the Cock restore;
199 " Indeed I never begg'd before;
200 "Let mercy plead some pity lend
201 " To one who never could offend! "
202 Proud of his state, the Kite look'd down
203 With a malignant, scornful frown;
204 Saying," thy race I do not know,
205 "Nor could I deign to be thy foe;
206 " But thou the Cock, I think, didst name;
207 "I recollect he merits blame:
208 " Presuming thing! I say begone;
209 "Thy father's arts are not unknown;
210 " Dare he e'er hope for my support,
211 "That for his post did gold extort
212 " From my brave major worthy friend?
213 "And yet the Cock did ne'er offend!
214 " The King the shameful deed shall know;
215 "Go home, rash chick, and tell him so."
216 [Ere I proceed, I must premise,
217 (My tale would suffer from disguise)
218 The bird, the Kite alluded to,
219 Was a poor, lazy, dull cuckoo;
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220 That, like his race, to birds a pest,
221 Crept meanly to another's nest;
222 But still he could not but allow,
223 And on his honour must avow,
224 His patron's falsehood to defy,
225 And accusation to deny;
226 For that, so far from giving gold,
227 He never did the Cock behold;
228 Nay, wrote for every bird to view,
229 The Cock he never even knew.
230 Benignant reader! I digress;
231 Pardon: I will no more transgress.]
232 With honest pride, indignant eyes,
233 The astonish'd chick with firmness cries,
234 "My father's fame shall brightly shine
235 " When shame shall cover thee and thine
236 "Even now, detested tyrant, now,
237 " They curse thy deeds that lowly bow;
238 "And learn, proud Lord, tho' greatly placed,
239 " With seeming honor highly graced
240 "A just, a gracious Power reigns,
241 " That falsehood even in Lords disdains;
242 "In retribution's awful hour
243 " Thoul't feel that vengeful Being's power;
244 "He'll aim at thy base heart a blow,
245 " With kindred fiends, to lay thee low;
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246 "Nor hope for mercy never pray;
247 " Justice o'er thee presides that day;
248 "But shouldst thou dare remember'd be,
249 " Almighty Powers! his deeds to me.
250 "My parent pray'd he was abused;
251 " I kneel for mercy am refused:
252 "Adieu, thou base, destructive Kite!"
253 Thus said, she took an instant flight.
254 I'll veil her meeting with the Cock,
255 The mutual tears of all the flock;
256 Oh! wou'd I also cou'd conceal
257 Those ills each honest bird must feel;
258 The gallant Cock, to griefs a prey,
259 The varied ills of power display,
260 Expos'd to sorrow, want, and debt,
261 With duns and poverty beset,
262 Each morn he wakes to guiltless fear,
263 No friend to aid, no hope to cheer;
264 The pledges of his much-lov'd wife,
265 More dear to him than fame or life,
266 Scatter'd, neglected, hopeless driven,
267 By bleakest blasts of angry Heaven,
268 To seek beneath an humble shed;
269 To shield the weary, languid head,
270 And gain the hard-earn'd daily bread;
271 Their beauteous plumage all deranged,
272 Their virtues hid, their friends estranged;
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273 They pine they mourn but do not live;
274 Can righteous Heaven the Kite forgive?
275 Daughters and sons of human kind,
276 Whom bright benevolence doth bind,
277 Accept this fable; it conveys
278 A fact which real life displays,
279 A mournful truth of courtly ways;
280 It represents a soldier's fate,
281 Sinking beneath oppression's weight;
282 His claims rejected robb'd of bread,
283 Without a home to shield his head
284 From the rude world's inclement storms,
285 From poverty in direst forms;
286 His children scatter'd and distress'd,
287 Their worth neglected hopes depress'd;
288 To honor born in affluence bred,
289 Behold them now each blessing fled:
290 They cannot beg a noble race
291 Remember'd, flush the pallid face;
292 They every sentiment refine,
293 And, victims of regret, they pine;
294 The sole distinction they can boast,
295 Is, that they have not virtue lost.
296 Ye Great! in fortune's favour high,
297 Vouchsafe to bend a pitying eye!
298 Should e'er this family be known,
299 Or on your goodness e'er be thrown
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300 Be kind protect a parent's age,
301 In his defence, ye good, engage!
302 Survey his mild persuading form,
303 And save his guiltless groupe from harm.
304 Ye highly placed, supreme in power,
305 Should ye e'er find a vacant hour,
306 Oh! deign this little tale to read,
307 Your hearts will for a soldier plead;
308 And thou of adamantine soul,
309 Whom justice never could controul,
310 Shouldst thou this little fable scan,
311 And conscience cry "thou art the man,"
312 Receive the warning offer'd here,
313 A daughter pleads, and Heaven will hear:
314 But thou to whom these lines I send,
315 Thou first of mortals firmest friend,
316 These sad, sad truths so often heared,
317 Thy heart hath pitied bounty cheared;
318 Thy mercy was the kindly ray,
319 The star that chear'd the gloomy way;
320 Still deign thy gracious aid to lend,
321 Thy powerful influence extend;
322 Supported by thy liberal hand,
323 These lines will all I wish command:
324 Oh! thou lov'd excellence revered,
325 So honor'd, and where known endeared;
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326 Long may thy virtues mend the mind,
327 And bless the hours, of human kind;
328 Then, when this dream of life is o'er,
329 Thy fame shall bloom for ever more,
330 And gratitude with pride proclaim
331 The worth that graced a C———y's name.

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    Title (in Source Edition): THE EAGLE, THE KITE, AND THE COCK. An Emblematic Fable, most respectfully addressed to the Right Hon. General C——y. Written in the year 1788.
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    Genres: fable

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    Kelly, Isabella, 1759-1857. Collection of Poems and Fables on Several Occasions. London: W. Richardson, 1794, pp. 60-72. 72p. (ESTC T122123) (Page images digitized from a copy at the British Library.)

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    Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.