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William Cowper Quotes WILLIAM COWPER QUOTES


William Cowper (1731-1800)

English poet

Truth is the golden girdle of the globe.

WILLIAM COWPER, Charity

But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Castaway

Grief is itself a med'cine.

WILLIAM COWPER, Charity

Pleasure is labour too, and tires as much.

WILLIAM COWPER, Hope

Mountains interpos'd
Make enemies of nations, who had else,
Like kindred drops, been mingled into one.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Variety's the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavour.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Glory built on selfish principles is shame and guilt.

WILLIAM COWPER, Table Talk

War's a game, which, were their subjects wise, Kings would not play at.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Men deal with life as children with their play,
Who first misuse, then cast their toys away.

WILLIAM COWPER, Hope

The lie that flatters I abhor the most.

WILLIAM COWPER, Table Talk

Knowledge is proud that he has learn'd so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Books are not seldom talismans and spells.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Public schools 'tis public folly breeds.

WILLIAM COWPER, Tirocinium

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

WILLIAM COWPER, Olney Hymns

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

WILLIAM COWPER, Olney Hymns

Nature is but a name for an effect,
Whose cause is God.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

God made the country, and man made the town.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

How shall I speak thee, or thy power address Thou God of our idolatry, the Press.... Like Eden's dead probationary tree, Knowledge of good and evil is from thee.

WILLIAM COWPER, Progress of Error

He comes, the herald of a noisy world, With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen locks; News from all nations lumbering at his back.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

A poet does not work by square or line.

WILLIAM COWPER, Conversation

And diff'ring judgments serve but to declare
That truth lies somewhere, if we knew but where.

WILLIAM COWPER, Hope

Thus first necessity invented stools,
Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs,
And luxury the accomplish'd Sofa last.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow'r.

WILLIAM COWPER, Olney Hymns

Freedom has a thousand charms to show,
That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.

WILLIAM COWPER, Table Talk

Riches have wings.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Then liberty, like day,
Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from Heaven
Fires all the faculties with glorious joy.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

I praise the Frenchman; his remark was shrewd,-- "How sweet, how passing sweet is solitude." But grant me still a friend in my retreat, Whom I may whisper--Solitude is sweet.

WILLIAM COWPER, Retirement

[Labor is] the primal curse,
But softened into mercy, made the pledge
Of cheerful days and nights without a groan.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

An idler is a watch that wants both hands;
As useless when it goes as when it stands.

WILLIAM COWPER, Retirement

Absence of occupation is not rest,
A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.

WILLIAM COWPER, Retirement

'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume;
And we are weeds without it.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

For 'tis a truth well known to most,
That whatsoever thing is lost,
We seek it, ere it comes to light,
In every cranny but the right.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Retired Cat

O Winter! ruler of the inverted year!

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

The earth was made so various, that the mind
Of desultory man, studious of change
And pleased with novelty, might be indulged.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

The bow well bent and smart and spring,
Vice seems already slain;
But passion rudely snaps the string,
And it revives again.

WILLIAM COWPER, "Human Frailty"

Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

No tree in all the grove but has its charms,
Though each its hue peculiar.

WILLIAM COWPER, The Task

Unless a love of virtue light the flame,
Satire is, more than those he brands, to blame;
He hides behind a magisterial air
His own offences, and strips others' bare.

WILLIAM COWPER, Charity

When scandal has new-minted an old lie,
Or tax'd invention for a fresh supply,
'Tis call'd a satire, and the world appears
Gathering around it with erected ears.

WILLIAM COWPER, Charity

Assail'd by scandal and the tongue of strife,
His only answer was a blameless life;
And he that forged, and he that threw the dart,
Had each a brother's interest in his heart.

WILLIAM COWPER, Hope

Man, in society, is like a flower blown in its native bud; it is there alone his faculties expanded in full bloom shine out, there only they reach their proper use.

WILLIAM COWPER, attributed, Day's Collacon

Spring hangs her infant blossoms on the trees,
Rock'd in the cradle of the western breeze.

WILLIAM COWPER, Tirocinium

There is in souls a sympathy with sounds,
And as the mind is pitch'd the ear is pleased
With melting airs, or martial, brisk or grave;
Some chord in unison with what we hear
Is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.

WILLIAM COWPER, "The Winter Walk at Noon", The Task

A Christian's wit is inoffensive light,
A beam that aids, but never grieves the sight.

WILLIAM COWPER, "Conversation", Poems

All zeal for a reform, that gives offence
To peace and charity, is mere pretence.

WILLIAM COWPER, Charity

The dead, whatever they leave behind them, have nothing to regret. Good Christians are the only creatures in the world that are truly good; and them they will see again, and see them improved: therefore them they regret not. Regret is for the living. What we get, we soon lose; and what we lose, we regret. The most obvious consolation in this case seems to be, that we who regret others, shall quickly become objects of regret ourselves; for mankind are continually passing off in a rapid succession.

WILLIAM COWPER, letter to the Rev. John Newton, January 13, 1787

Pardon me, ye that give the midnight oil,
To learned cares, or philosophic toil.

WILLIAM COWPER, "Retirement"

Yesterday was one of my terrible seasons, and when I arose this morning, I found that I had not sufficiently recovered myself.

WILLIAM COWPER, "Return of His Malady", The Works of William Cowper


William Cowper Poems - a collection of his poetry.

William Cowper Bibliography - a bibliography, including list of critical resources.

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