On the Burning of Lord Mansfield's Library

by William Cowper

William Cowper

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.

Last updated January 14, 2019