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1731-1800. [WILLIAM COWPER was born at the rectory, Great Berkhamstead, Nov. 26, 1731. His father, the rector of the parish, was a nephew of Lord Chancellor Cowper; his mother was Ann Donne, of the family of Dr. John Donne, the celebrated Dean of St. Paul's. Cowper was educated at á private school, and afterwards at Westminster, where Vincent Bourne was a master, and Warren Hastings, Robert Lloyd, Colman, and Churchill were among the boys. After leaving Westminster he became a member of the Middle Temple, and was articled to a solicitor, a Mr. Chapman, one of his fellow-clerks being Thurlow, afterwards Lord Chancellor. During his three years under Mr. Chapman he saw much

of the family of his uncle, Ashley Cowper, with one of whose daughters, Theodora, he formed a deep attachment. Another daughter, Harriet, afterwards Lady Hesketh was in the latter years of his life one of his warmest friends. The engagement of marriage with

“ Delia."

Theodora was not sanctioned by her father; and this disappointment, with other troubles, seems to have greatly affected Cowper, and to have prepared the way for the first attack of insanity, which took place in 1763. The immediate cause was the excitement occasioned by his appointment to two clerkships in the House of Lords, at the hands of his uncle, Major Cowper. His malady was intensified by the injudicious handling he received from his cousin, Martin Madan, a strong Cal. vinist, and it was only after a stay of fifteen months under the care of the amiable physician and verse-writer, Dr. Nathaniel Cotton, at St. Albans, that he recovered. He did not resume work in London, but went to live at Huntingdon. There he fell in with the Unwins, and there began their lifelong intimacy. After Mr. Unwin's death (1767) Cowper removed with Mrs.: Unwin to Olney, where they remained 1786. he

peace of Cowper's life at Olney was shaken in 1773 by a second attack of melancholia, which lasted for sixteen months. Before and after that time he corresponded freely with many friends; he joined with John Newton, curate-in-charge at Olney, in composing the Olney Hymns (published, 1779); but it was not till December, 1780, that he began seriously to write poetry, having deserted the art since the days of his early love-verses to His first volume, containing Table Talk, Conversation, Retirement, and the other didactic poems, was published in 1782; his second, containing The Task, Tirocinium, and among others the ballad of John Gilpin (which had been published in a newspaper, and had become famous through the recitations of Henderson, the actor), appeared in 1785. The subjects of both John Gilpin and The Task were suggested to Cowper by Lady Austen, a fascinating person, who for some years was on intimate terms with him and Mrs. Unwin. Afterwards he began his translation of Homer, which was completed and published in 1791. The last years of his life, from 1791 to 1800, were years of great misery. Mrs. Unwin was paralytic from 1791 to her death in 1796; he himself was suffering from hopeless dejection, regarding himself, as he had done since his first attack, as an outcast from God. He died at East Dereham, in Norfolk, April 25, 1800.] RELISH OF FAIR PR PECT. The bramble, black as jet, or sloes aus

tere. [From The Task, Book I. The Sofa.]

Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite Oh! may I live exempted (while I Disdains not, nor the palate undepraved live

By culinary arts, unsavory deems. Guiltless of pampered appetite obscene) No Sofa then awaited my return, From pangs arthritic that infest the toe Nor Sofa then I needed. Youth repairs Of libertine excess. The Sofa suits His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb, Incurring short fatigue; and though our Though on a Sofa, may I never feel :

years, For I have loved the rural walk through As life declines, speed rapidly away, lanes

And not a year but pilfers as he goes, Of grassy swarth, close cropped by nib- Some youthful grace that age would bling sheep

gladly keep, And skirted thick with intertexture firm A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees Of thorny boughs; have loved the rural Their length and color from the locks walk

they spare, O’er hills, through valleys, and by riv- The elastic spring of an unwearied foot ers' brink,

That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps E'er since a truant boy I passed my

the fence, bounds

That play of lungs, inhaling and again To enjoy a ramble on the banks of Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes Thames;

Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me, And still remember, nor without regret, Mine have not pilfered yet; nor yet imOf hours that sorrow since has much paired endeared,

My relish of fair prospect: scenes that How oft, my slice of pocket store con- soothed sumed,

Or charmed me young, no longer young, Still hungering, penniless, and far from

I find home,

Still soothing and of power to charm I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws, Or blushing crabs, or berries that em- And witness, dear companion of my boss


me still.

Whose arm this twentieth winter I per- Just undulates upon the listening ear; ceive

Groves, heaths, and smoking villages Fast locked in mine, with pleasure such remote. as love,

Scenes must be beautiful which, daily Confirmed by long experience of thy viewed, worth

Please daily, and whose novelty survives And well-tried virtues, could alone in- Long knuwledge and the scrutiny of spire,

years: Witness a joy that thou hast doubled Praise justly due to those that I describe.

long. Thou knowest my praise of nature most sincere,

CRAZY KATE. THE GIPSIES. And that my raptures are not conjured up

THERE often wanders one, whom To serve occasions of poetic pomp,

better days But genuine, and art partner of them all. Saw better clad, in cloak of satin How oft upon yon eminence our pace

trimmed Has slackened to a pause, and we have With lace, and hat with splendid riband borne

bound. The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that A serving-maid was she, and fell in love it blew,

With one who left her, went to sea, and While admiration, feeding at the eye, died. And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene. Her fancy followed him through foamThence with what pleasure have we just ing waves discerned

To distant shores, and she would sit and The distant plough slow moving, and weep beside

At what a sailor suffers; fancy too, His laboring team, that swerved not Delusive most where warmest wishes from the track,

are, The sturdy swain diminished to a boy. Would oft anticipate his glad return, Here Ouse, slow winding through a And dream of transports she was not to level plain

know. Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled She heard the doleful tidings of his

o'er, Conducts the eye along his sinuous And never smiled again. And now she Delighted. There, fast rooted in their The dreary waste; there spends the bank,

livelong day, Stand, never overlooked, our favorite And there, unless when charity forbids, elms,

The livelong night. A tattered apron That screen the herdsman's solitary hut; hides, While far beyond, and overthwart the Worn as a cloak, and hardly hides, a stream,

gown That, as with molten glass, inlays the More tattered still; and both but ill ale

conceal The sloping land recedes into the A bosom heaved with never-ceasing clouds;

sighs. Displaying on its varied side the grace She begs an idle pin of all she meets, Of hedge-row beauties numberless, And hoards them in her sleeve; but square tower,

needful food, Tall spire, from which the sound of Though pressed with hunger oft, or cheerful bells

comelier clothes,





Though pinched with cold, asks

The houseless rovers of the sylvan world; never. – Kate is crazed.

And breathing wholesome air, and wanI see a column of slow-rising smoke dering much, O’ertop the lofty wood that skirts the Need other physic none to heal the wild.

effects A vagabond and useless tribe there eat Of loathsome diet, penury, and cold. Their miserable meal. A kettle, slung Between two poles upon a stick transverse,

ENGLAND. Receives the morsel; Aesh obscene of dog,

[From Book II. The Timepiece.) Or vermin, or, at best, of cock purloined ENGLAND, with all thy faults, I love From his accustomed perch. Hard- thee still, faring race !

My country! and, while yet a nook is They pick their fuel out of every hedge, left Which, kindled with dry leaves, just Where English minds and manners may saves unquenched

be found, The spark of life. The sportive wind Shall be constrained to love thee. blows wide

Though thy clime Their fluttering rags, and shows a tawny Be fickle, and thy year, most part, deskin,

formed The vellum of the pedigree they claim. With dripping rains, or withered by a Great skill have they in palmistry, and frost,

I would not yet exchange thy sullen skies To conjure clean away the gold they And fields without a flower, for warmer touch,

France Conveying worthless dross into its With all her vines; nor for Ausonia's place;

groves Loud when they beg, dumb only when Of golden fruitage, and her myrtle they steal.

bowers. Strange! that a creature rational, and To shake thy senate, and from heights cast

sublime In human mould, should brutalize by Of patriot eloquence to flash down fire choice

Upon thy foes, was never meant my task; His nature, and, though capable of arts But I can feel thy fortunes, and partake By which the world might profit and Thy joys and sorrows with as true a himself,

heart Self banished from society, prefer As any thunderer there. And I can feel Such squalid sloth to honorable toil ! Thy follies too, and with a just disdain Yet even these, though, feigning sickness Frown at effeminates, whose very looks oft,

Reflect dishonor on the land I love. They swathe the forehead, drag the How, in the name of soldiership and limping limb,

sense, And vex their flesh with artificial sores, Should England prosper, when such Can change their whine into a mirthful things, as smooth note

And tender as a girl, all-essenced o'er When safe occasion offers; and with With odors, and as profligate as sweet, dance,

Who sell their laurel for a myrtle wreath, And music of the bladder and the bag, And love when they should fight,Beguile their woes, and make the woods when such as these resound.

Presume to lay their hand upon the ark Such health and gaiety of heart enjoy Of her magnificent and awful cause?

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Time was when it was praise and boast

enough In every clime, and travel where we

might, That we were born her children; praise

enough To fill the ambition of a private man, That Chatham's language was his mother

tongue, And Wolfe's great name compatriot

with his own. Farewell those honors, and farewell with

them The hope of such hereafter! They have

fallen Each in his field of glory: one in arms, And one in council — Wolfe upon the

lap Of smiling Victory that moment won, And Chatham, heart-sick of his country's

shame! They made us many soldiers. Chatham

still Consulting England's happiness at home, Secured it by an unforgiving frown If any wronged her. Wolfe, where'er

he fought, Put so much of his heart into his act, That his example had a magnet's force, And all were swift to follow whom all

loved. Those suns are set. On, rise some other

such ! Or all that we have left is empty talk Of old achievements, and despair of new.

Than once, and others of a life to come. I see that all are wanderers, gone astray Each in his own delusions; they are lost In chase of fancied happiness, still wooed And never won. Dream after dream

ensues, And still they dream that they shall still

succeed, And still are disappointed. Rings the

world With the vain stir. I sum up half man

kind, And add two-thirds of the remaining half, And find the total of their hopes and fears Dreams, empty dreams.


WINTER. [From Book IV., The Winter Evening.] HARK! 'tis the twanging horn! O’er

yonder bridge, That with its wearisome but needful

length Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the



(From Book III., The Garden.] I was a stricken deer that left the

herd Long since; with many an arrow deep

infixed My panting side was charged, when I

withdrew To seek a tranquil death in distant shades. There was I found by One who had

Himself Been hurt by the archers. In His side He


Sees her unwrinkled face reflected

bright, He comes, the herald of a noisy world, With spattered boots, strapped waist,

and frozen locks, News from all nations lumbering at his

back. True to his charge, the close-packed

load behind, Yet careless what he brings, his one


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