William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

On The Same - (On The Burning Of Lord Mansfield's Library)

When wit and genius meet their doom
In all devouring flame,
They tell us of the fate of Rome,
And bid us fear the same.

O'er Murray's loss the Muses wept,
They felt the rude alarm,
Yet blessed the guardian care that kept
His sacred head from harm.

There memory, like the bee that's fed
From Flora's balmy store,
The quintessence of all he read
Had treasured up before.

The lawless herd, with fury blind,
Have done him cruel wrong;
The flowers are gone, - but still we find
The honey on his tongue.
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