William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

On The Burning Of Lord Mansfield's Library

On the Burning of Lord Mansfield's Library, Together with his MSS. by the Mob, in the Month of June 1780.
So then - the Vandals of our isle,
Sworn foes to sense and law,
Have burnt to dust a nobler pile
Than ever Roman saw!

And Murray sighs o'er Pope and Swift,
And many a treasure more,
The well-judged purchase and the gift
That graced his lettered store.
Their
pages mangled, burnt, and torn,
The loss was
his alone;

But ages yet to come shall mourn
The burning of
his own.
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