Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
December 13
On the Death of Dr. Johnson
By William Cowper (1731–1800)
          Dr. Samuel Johnson, the famous English lexicographer, poet and essayist, died Dec. 13, 1784.

HERE Johnson lies—a sage by all allowed,
Whom to have bred may well make England proud,
Whose prose was eloquence by wisdom taught,
The graceful vehicle of virtuous thought;
Whose verse may claim—grave, masculine, and strong,        5
Superior praise to the mere poet’s song;
Who many a noble gift from heaven possessed,
And faith at last—alone worth all the rest.
O man immortal by a double prize,
By fame on earth—by glory in the skies!        10

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