Forced from home and all its pleasures . 361
Fortune! I thank thee: gentle Goddess,

thanks 1

From right to left, and to and fro . ... 479
From thorny wilds a monster came . . . 417
Full thirty frosts since thou wert young . 6

Go! thou art all unfit to share 363

God gives his mercies to be spent ... 26
God moves in a mysterious way .... 34

God of my life, to thee I call 35

Grace, triumphant in the throne . ... 42
Gracious Lord, our children see .... 31
Grant me the Muse, ye gods! whose humble

flight 7

Greece, sound thy Homer's, Rom^, thy

Virgil's name 465

Hackneyed in business, wearied _*t that oar 147
Happy songster, perched ab^ /e .... 505

Hark, my soul! it is the Lord 29

Hark ! 'tis the twanging horn! O'er yon-
der bridge 231

Hastings! I knew thee young, and of a mind 383
Hast thou a friend? Thou hast indeed . 501
Hair, wax, rouge, honey, teeth you buy . 506
Hatred and vengeance,—my eternal portion 23
Hayley, thy tenderness fraternal, shown . 385
Heal us, Emmanuel! here we are ... 24
Hear, Lord, the song of praise and prayer 365
Hear what God the Lord hath spoken . . 26
Hei mihi! Lege rata sol occidit atque

resurgit . . 351

He lives who lives to God, alone .... 369
Hence, my epistle—skim the deep—fly o'er 435
Here Johnson lies, a sage by all allowed . 356

Here lies one who never drew 387

Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue . 324
Hermocratia named—save only one . . . 504
Her pen drops eloquence as sweet . . . 394
Heu inimicitias quoties parit aemula forma 169

He who sits from day to day 368

Hie etiam jacet 325 1

Hie sepultus est 328

His master taken from his head .... 33
Holy Lord God! I love thy truth ... 40

Honour and happiness unite 38

How blessed thy creature is, O God . 37
How blest the youth whom Fate ordains . 8
How happy are the new-born race . . . 413
How many between east and west . . . 357
How quick the change from joy to woe . 11
I am fond of the swallow ;—I learn from

her flight 408

I am just two and two, I am warm, I am

cold 329

I am monarch of all I survey .... 1 164
I could be Well content, allowed the use . 376
Icta fenestra Euri flatu stridebat, avarus . 511
If Gideon's fleece, which drenched with

dew he found 390

If John marries Mary, and Mary alone . 330
If reading verse be your delight .... 345
I have read the Review ; it is learned and

wise 330

"I love the Lord" is still the strain . . . 428
In Cnidus born, the consort I became . . 500


In Copeman's ear this truth let Echo tell . 391
In language warm as could be breathed or

penned 388

In painted plumes superbly drest. . . .173
In Scotland's realm, where trees are few _. 392
In these sad hours, a prey to ceaseless pain 13
In this mimic form of a matron in years . 478
In vain to live from age to age .... 384
In vain ye woo me to your harmless joys . 423
I own I am shocked at the purchase of

slaves 362

I place an offering at Thy shrine .... 418
I ransacked, for a theme of song .... 364
I shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau . 313
I should have deemed it once an effort vain 396

I sing of a journey to Clifton 349

I sing the Sofa. I who lately sang . . .183
I slept when Venus entered: to my bed . 509
Israel in ancient days ....... 29

I suffer fruitless anguish day by day . .421
It flatters and deceives thy view .... 506

I thirst, but not as once I did 39

It is a maxim of much weight 376

It is not front his form, in which we trace . 288
I was a grovelling creature once . . . . 39
'I was a long journey lay before us . . . 16

I was of late a barren plant 500

I will praise thee every day 26

I wish thy lot, now bad, still worse,my friend 497
Jealous, and with love o'erflowing . . .418
Jesus! where'er thy people meet.... 31
Jesus! whose blood so freely streamed . 25

John Gilpin was a citizen 306

Kinsman beloved, and as a son, by me . 390
Lady! it cannot be but that thine eyes . 468
Laurels may flourish round the conqueror's

tomb 378

Learn, ye nations of the earth 447

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Little inmate, full of mirth
Long plunged in sorrow I resign .
Lord, my soul with pleasure springs
Lord, who hast suffered all for me
Love! if thy destined sacrifice am I
Love is the Lord whom I obey
Lusus amicitia est, uni nisi dedita, ceu
Madam,—A stranger's purpose in these lays 354
Madam,—Two Cockscombs wait at your

command 347

Man, on the dubious waves of error tossed 76
Maria, could Horace have guessed .
Maria! I have every good ....
Mary! I want a lyre with other strings
Meles and Mincio, both, your urns depress
Mercator, visiles oculos ut fallere possit
Me too, perchance, in future days . .
Me to whatever state the gods assign .

Miltiades! thy valour best

Mortals ! around your destined heads .
M. quarrels with N., because M. wrote


Muse, hide his name of whom I sing
Mycilla dyes her locks, 'tis said . . .

My former hopes are fled

My gentle Anne, whom heretofore . .
My God, how perfect are thy ways

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My God, till I receive thy stroke ... 27
My halting Muse, that dragg'st by choice

along 454

My heart is easy, and my burthen light , 410
My lids with grief were tumid yet . . . 447
My mother! if thou love me, name no more 507
My name—my country—what are they to

thee? 498

My pens are all split, and my ink-glass is dry 388
My rose, Gravina, blooms anew .... 394
My song shall bless the Lord of all . , . 31
My soul is sad, and much dismayed . . 35
My Spouse! in whose presence I live . . 410
My twofold book ! single in show . . . 464
Naples, too credulous, ah! boast no more 446
Night! how I love thy silent shades . . 425

No longer I follow a sound 347

No mischief worthier of our fear .... 501
No more shall hapless Celia's ears ... 2
None ever shared the social feast . . . 474
Nor oils of balmy scent produce .... 505
No strength of Nature can suffice ... 40
Not a flower can be found in the fields . . 478
Obscurest night involved the sky .... 400
Of all the gifts thine hand bestows ... 43
Oft we enhance our ills by discontent . . 508

0 God, whose favourable eye 41

Oh, fond attempt to give a deathless lot . 166
Oh for a closer walk with God ... .24
Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness . . 198
O happy shades! to me unblest . . . . 173

Oh, how I love thy holy word 34

Oh, loved! but not enough—though dearer

far 416

Oh that Pieria's spring would through my

breast 451

Oh that those lips had language! Life has

passed 32o

O Lord, my best desire fulfil 57

O Love, of pure and heavenly birth . .411
O matutini rores, auraeque salubres . . • 17o
O most delightful hour by man . . . • 367
On the green margin of the brook ... 5
O sovereign of an isle renowned .... 372

Other stones the era tell . 373

O Thou, by long experience tried . . . 412
Our good 'old friend is gone, gone to his rest 341
Painter, this likeness is too strong . . . 499
Patron of all those luckless brains . . .31a
Pause here, and think: a monitory rhyme 324
Pay me my price, potters ! and I will sing 507
Peace has unveiled her smiling face . . . 415
Perfida, crudelis, victa et lymphata furore 335

Pity, says the Theban bard 5o7

Plangimus fortes. Periere fortes . . . 348
Poets attempt the noblest task they can . 375
Poor in my youth, and in life's later scenes 502
Poor Vestris, grieved beyond all measure . 336
Populeae cecidit gratissima copia silvse . . 323
Praise in old times the sage Prometheus won 445
Quae lenta accedit, quam velox preterit

hora 39s

Quales aerii montis de vertice nubes . . 385
Qui subito ex imis, rerum in fastigia surgit 512
Reader 1 behold a monument 374


Reasoning at every step he treads . . . 163

Rebellion is my theme all day 166

Receive, dear friend, the truths I teach . 171
Rich, thou hadst many lovers ;—poor, hast

none 504

Romney, -expert infallibly to trace . . . 387
Round Thurlow's head in early youth . . 165
Sauntering along the street one day ... 18
Says the Pipe to the Snuff-box, "1 can't

understand 340

Say, ye apostate and profane 6

Season of my purest pleasure 424

Seest thou yon mountain laden with deep

snow 494

See where the Thames, the purest stream . 8
Shall 1 begin with Ak, or Oh? .... 21
She came—she is gone—we have met . . 315
Silent I sat, dejected, and alone .... 434
Since life in sorrow must be spent . . . 417

Sin enslaved me many years 40

Sing, Muse, if such a theme, so dark, so

long 64

Sin has undone our wretched race ... 30
Sir, when I flew to seize the bird .... 393
Sleep at last has fled these eyes .... 424
So have I seen the maids in vain .... 370

Sometimes a light surprises 38

Sors adversa gerit stimulum, sed tendit et

alas 340

So then—the Vandals of our isle .... 167
Source of love, and light of day .... 414
Source of Love, my brighter Sun .... 427

Still, still, without ceasing 427

Sun ! stay thy course, this moment stay . 419
Suns that set, and moons that wane . . .351
Survivor soul, and hardly such, of all . . 380
Sweet babe, whose image here expressed . 472
Sweet bird, whom the Winter constrains . 475
Sweet stream, that winds through yonder


Sweet tenants of this grove

Take to thy bosom, gentle Earth! a swain
Tears flow, and cease not, where the good

man lies

Thankless for favours from on high
That ocean you of late surveyed .
That thou mayst injure no man, dovc-like be
The astrologers did all alike presage
The Bard, if e'er he feel at all . . . .
The beams of April, ere it goes . . .
The billows swell, the winds are high .
The birds put off their every hue . . .
Thee, whose refulgent staff, and summons


The fountain in its source

The genius of the Augustan age . . .
The greenhouse is my summer seat . .
The lady thus addressed her spouse
The lapse of time and rivers is the same
The Lord proclaims his grace abroad .
The Lord receives his highest praise
The Lord will happiness divine . . .
The lover, in melodious verses . . .
The new-born child of Gospel grace
The noon was shady, and soft airs . .

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The nymph must lose her female friend . 168

The Pineapples, in triple row 171

The poplarsare felled ; farewell to the shade 323
The rose had been washed, just washed in

a shower ........... 312 I

There is a bird who by his coat .... 172 |

There is a book, which we may call. . . 473
There is a field through which I often pass 317
There is a fountain filled with blood . . 28
There is in souls a sympathy with sounds . 265
There's not an echo round me . . . . .409 There was a time when ./Etna's silent fire . 176
The saints should never be dismayed . . 24

The Saviour hides his face 36

The Saviour, what a noble flame .... 32
The ScuJptor ?—Nameless, though once

dear to fame 391

These are not dew-drops, these are tears . 385
These critics, who to faith no quarter grant 356
The shepherd touched his reed ; sweet

Philomel 476

The sparkling eye, the mantling cheek . 5
The Spirit breathes upon the Word ... 32
The star that beams on Anna's breast . . 355
The straw-stuffed hamper with his ruthless

steel 372

The suitors sinned, but with a fair excuse 394
These verses also to thy praise the Nine . 455
The swallows in their torpid state . . . 175
The twentieth year is well-nigh past . . 395
The winter night now well-nigh worn away 489
The works of ancient bards divine . . . 497
They call thee rich !—I deem thee poor . 503
They mock my toil—the nymphs and

amorous swains 467

Think, Delia, with what cruel haste ... 7
This cabin, Mary, in mv sight appears . 390
This cap, that so stately appears .... 357
This evening, Delia, you and I . . . . 7
This is the feast of heavenly wine ... 32
Though Nature weigh our talents, and dis-
pense 129

Though once a puppy, and though Fop by

name 388

Thou magic lyre, whose fascinating sound 10
Thou mayst of double ignorance boast . . 497
Thou hast no lightnings, O Thou Just . .411

Thracian parents, at his birth 472 Thrive, gentle plant! and weave a bower 389
Through floods and flames to your retreat 387
Thus Italy was moved ;—nor did the chief 481
Thus says the prophet of the Turk . . . 16S
Thy country, Wilberforce, with justdisdain 384
Thy mansion is the Christian's heart . . 28
Time, never wandering from his annual

round 438

Time was when I was free as air . . . . 170
Tis folly all!—let me no more be told . . 403
'Tis morning; and the sun with ruddy orb 247

Tis my happiness below 34

'Tis not that I design to rob 9

To Babylon's proud waters brought... 2
To be remembered thus is Fame .... 394
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall.... 479


To Jesus, the Crown of my Hope ... 43

To keep the lamp alive 42

To lay the soul that loves him low . . . 414

Toll for the brave 348

Too many, Lord, abuse thy grace ... 41
To purify their wine some people bleed . 365
To those who know the Lord I speak . . 33
To tell the Saviour all my wants .... 38
To watch the storms, and hear the sky . 345
Traveller, regret me not; for thou shaft find 503
Tres triaj, sed longe distantia, saecula

vates, 471

Trust me, the meed of praise, dealt thriftily 7
'Twas in the glad season of spring . . .363
'Twas my purpose, on a day . . . - .408
Two neighbours furiously dispute . . . 477
Two nymphs, both nearly of an age . . . 377 Two Poets, (poets, by report 386

Unwin, I should but ill repay 179

Weak and irresolute is man 166

What features, form, mien, manners, with

a mind 4°9

What is there in the vale of life . . . .335
What Nature, alas! has denied .... 174
What portents,from what distant region.ride 398
What thousands never knew the road . . 42
What various hindrances we meet ... 32
What Virtue, or what mental grace . . .342
When a bar of pure silver or ingot of gold 339

When all within is peace 347

When Aulus, the nocturnal thief, made prize 505
Whence is it, that amazed I hear .... 383
When darkness long has veiled my mind . 35
When Hagar found the bottle spent ... 39
When little more than boy in age . . . 497
When, long sequestered from his throne . 370
When the British warrior queen . . . .175
When Wit and Genius meet their doom . 168
Where hast thou floated? in what seas

pursued 355

Where Humber pours his rich commercial

stream 327 While thirteen moons saw smoothly run . 365
Why weeps the Muse for England? What

appears 87

Wilds horrid and dark with o'ershadowing

trees 428

William was once a bashful youth ... 3

Winter has a joy for me 43

With no rich viands overcharged, I send . 441
With seeds and birdlime, from the desert

air 502

With two spurs, or one, and no great mat-
ter which 480

Would my Deliaknow if I love, let her take 3
"Write to Sardis," saith the Lord ... 30
Ye linnets, let us try, beneath this grove . 406
Ye Nymphs, if e'er your eyes were red. .311
Ye nymphs of Himera, for ye have shed . 458
Ye sister powers, who o'er the sacred groves 450
Ye sons of earth, prepare the plough . . 28
You bid me write to amuse the tedious hours 492
You give your cheeks a rosy stain . . . 506
You told me, I remember, glory, built . .. 49


The works which have formed the materials for this volume are the following, named in the order of their publication ;—

1. Olney Hymns: 1779. (See Memoir, p. xxxvii.)

2. Poems by William Cowper: 1782. (See p. 45.)

3. The Task, with three other pieces, by the same: 1785. (See p. 181.)

4. The above volumes were published distinctly, No. 3 offering no indication that the author had appeared in print before. But always afterwards Nos. 2 and 3 were issued together, and numbered "Cowper's Poems, Vols. i. and ii." New editions were published in 1786, 1787, 1788, 1793, 1794, 1798 {two editions in this year, very different in form and appearance), and 1800. The foregoing were all that were printed in the author's lifetime. The various editions contained fresh poems from time to time.

5. Poems translated from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guyon by the late William Cowper, Esq., Author of "The Task," to which are added some Original Poems of Mr. Cowper, not inserted in his Works. Newport-Pagnel, 1801.

6. The Life and Letters of William Cowper, Esq., with Remarks on Epistolary

Writers. By William Hayley, Esq. : 4 vols. 1803.

This work contained many additional poems which had been sent to friends, but not published by the author among his works. These will be found, with others, in pp. 327—402. A brief notice of each poem is given in the Notes at the end. During Cowper's later life, beginning with 1791, Hayley was intimately connected with him and his friends. It was a priceless boon to give Cowper's Letters to the public; two brother poets have pronounced him "the best letter-writer in the English language."* Hayley's work therefore was highly interesting, but it had many serious faults. Not only is its style windy and tiresome, but the writer was so anxious not to give offence to any one, that in dealing with the more painful passages of Cowper's life, he contrives to leave us in utter uncertainty of what the facts were, and invariably assures us that if we knew everything we should see that everybody concerned acted in the most exemplary manner possible. With the same end in view he has made large omissions from the letters, without giving any indication of having done so. The originals of many of the letters which he printed are in the Manuscript Room of the British Museum (Addl. MSS. 24,154 and 21,556), and the omitted passages are mostly crossed with pencil-marks, I presume by his hand. The few passages not so crossed were probably struck out in the proofs. All these letters I have carefully compared with the printed copies.

Hayley s knowledge of Cowper, moreover, was confined to his later life. In the earlier part of the biography he has made several mistakes, and to one of the most interesting portions of Cowpers life, his only love affair, he makes no allusion. The references to Hayley's work in the present volume are to the edition of 1812.

* Southey in Life, p. 1, and Alex. Smith in " Encyclopaedia Britannica,''

7. Latin and Italian Poems of Milton. Translated by Cowper. 1808.

This work was published by Hayley for the benefit of Cowper's godson, W. C. Rose, Sec p. Ixiv.

8. Memoir of the Early Life of William Cowper. Written by Himself. With an Appendix containing some of Cowper's Religious Letters, and other Documents. London, 1816.

This was written at Huntingdon for the private reading of his friends the Unwins, and its publication was never dreamt of. It was written just when Cowper was in the full conviction of his conversion, and in consequence speaks most severely of his previous life, and rails (it is not too strong a word) against the acquaintances of his youth. Written with all the exaggeration of excitement, and with a morbid dwelling upon the details of his madness, it is a painful work to read, and it is to be regretted that it was ever published. A lady who was on a visit to Newton saw the MS. on his table, unjustifiably took a copy, and lent it to a friend. Of course, it soon found its way into a publisher's hands, through the instrumentality of a "pious character," to use the expression of one of Cowper's biographers (Grimshawe, v. 262).

9. Adelphi. A Sketch of the Character, and an Account of the Last Illness of the late Rev. John Cowper, who finished his course with joy, March 20, 1770. Written by William Cowper; transcribed from his original MS. by J. Newton. London, 1816.

10. Private Correspondence of William Cowper with several of his most intimate Friends, now first published from the Originals in the possession of John Johnson. 2 vols. London, 1814.

11. Poems by William Cowper, in three volumes, by his Kinsman, John Johnson, LL.D., Rector of Yaxham with Welborne in Norfolk.

The 3d volume comprised "his Posthumous Poetry, with a Sketch of his Life," and contained a few pieces which had not yet appeared. Dr. Johnson was, as will be seen in the Life, a relative very dear to Cowper, and made it his pious care to tend him in his last years. It may be well to mention here that he was no connexion of the Johnson who will also appear often in the memoir as the original publisher of Cowper's works.

12. Poems, the Early Productions of William Cowper, now first published from the Originals in the possession of James Croft. With anecdotes of the Poet, collected from Letters of Lady Hesketh, written during her residence at Olney. London, 1825.

This volume was a deeply interesting one, for in it the public was informed for the first time that the Poet in his early days had been deeply in love with his cousin Theodora Jane Cowper, and had addressed to her verses enough to make a small volume. The editor, Mr. Croft, was the son of Sir Archer Croft, who married the youngest sister of Harriet (Lady Hesketh) and Theodora Cowper. The editing of the volume is very bad. The poems are full of misprints, and the prose part consists of extracts from Lady Hesketh's letters without arrangement or dates, or any indication of the quantity of her correspondence. If these letters are still in existence, the possessor would confer a great boon on literature by publishing them, for the great want in the materials for Cowper's life are the letters of his friends. He appears not to have preserved them; not above two or three have been published. And this volume of Mr. Croft's is still the only one which contains any letters of his cousin and faithful friend, Lady Hesketh.

In 1835 was published Southey's Life of Cowper. At that time the"Private Correspondence" above mentioned (No. 10) was a copyright property, though an unsaleable one. Southey's publishers applied to the possessor of it for leave to purchase both copyright and remaining stock. Instead of granting it, they commissioned a Mr, Grimshawe (brother-in-law of Dr. John Johnson)

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