[Page 8]



1 THE vain Miranda long had shone,
2 In fashion's brilliant scene;
3 Each heart confest her passing fair,
4 And hail'd her beauty's queen.
5 Unrival'd long Miranda liv'd,
6 Of British maids the toast,
7 And with tyrannic sway she reign'd,
8 A celebrated toast;
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9 Till brighter Emeline appear'd,
10 Fair as the opening morn,
11 Then Myra only swell'd the groupe
12 Sweet Emma did adorn.
13 The haughty maid, that ne'er could brook
14 Ev'n one neglecting eye,
15 With bursting pride beheld her charms
16 Unnotic'd now past by.
17 Conflicting passions tear her breast;
18 To distant scenes she flies,
19 To seek in solitude that calm
20 Reflection ne'er denies;
21 But ah! in vain, the venom'd dart
22 Within her bosom lay,
23 And pride represt can ne'er bestow,
24 Of peace the faintest ray.
25 One silent eve she reach'd a grove,
26 There to lament her fate,
27 Where modest Robin pensive sung,
28 And chear'd his little mate:
29 With scorn she heard the plaintive lay,
30 And, with disdainful look,
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31 "Presuming feeble wretch," she cried;
32 The little redbreast shook:
33 "Chirp not, thou vain, thou sorry thing,
34 " Hark Philomela's strain;
35 Unworthy thou to share her haunts,
36 "The meanest of her train:
37 "Be ever dumb, assuming bird,
38 " Dar'st thou e'er hope to please,
39 "When larks salute the early morn,
40 " And thrushes sing from trees?
41 "Ambitious thing, I say give o'er;
42 " The blackbird's warbling song
43 "In just contempt will sink thy notes;
44 " For ever stop thy tongue. "
45 Meek Robin, in the sweetest strain,
46 With softest accents spoke,
47 Shelt'ring his partner with his wings,
48 Thus, trembling, silence broke:
49 "Pardon, bright fair! I know not pride,
50 " Foe to ambition I;
51 "Humbly poor Robin owns he ne'er
52 " With thrush or lark can vie:
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53 "Indeed I try to imitate
54 " Sweet Philomela's lay,
55 "And to the warbling blackbird's song
56 " Sincerest homage pay;
57 "And when that wintry storms descend,
58 " Each vernal beauty seize,
59 "When they retire till milder hours,
60 " Poor Robin tries to please;
61 "'Tis then with timid hope I strive
62 " To soothe the listening ear,
63 "My bright reward, a little food,
64 " These hours of want to chear:
65 "Then hear, ye sweetest birds of air,
66 " The humblest: of your throng;
67 "'Tis when ye will not deign to chear,
68 " Poor Robin gives his song:
69 "Hence learn, Miranda, bright and fair,
70 " Let meekness pride disarm;
71 "Vouchsafe to learn from little me,
72 " Heaven gives to each a charm. "
73 To hear a moral from a bird,
74 Abash'd Miranda stood,
75 Return'd to town, sought Emeline,
76 Was happy, kind, and good.


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Title (in Source Edition): MIRANDA and the RED-BREAST. A FABLE FOR THE LADIES.
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Kelly, Isabella, 1759-1857. Collection of Poems and Fables on Several Occasions. London: W. Richardson, 1794, pp. 8-11. 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.

Other works by Isabella Kelly (née Fordyce)