On Observing Some Names Of Little Note Recorded In The Biographia Britannica.

A poem by William Cowper

Oh, fond attempt to give a deathless lot
To names ignoble, born to be forgot!
In vain recorded in historic page,
They court the notice of a future age:
Those twinkling tiny lustres of the land
Drop one by one from Fame’s neglecting hand;
Lethæan gulfs receive them as they fall,
And dark oblivion soon absorbs them all.


So when a child, as playful children use,
Has burnt to tinder a stale last year’s news,
The flame extinct, he views the roving fire—
There goes my lady, and there goes the squire,
There goes the parson, oh illustrious spark!
And there, scarce less illustrious, goes the clerk!

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