1788 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

Anonymous, in Catalogue of five hundred Celebrated Authors (1788).



Early in life he was the intimate friend of lord Thurlow, and lived in a very sociable and somewhat dissipated manner. He has since taken a turn to methodism, is of a serious and melancholy humour, and spends his whole time in rural retirement. His works are poetical, and make two volumes in octavo. The style in which they are written is nervous, manly and unaffected; but they are greatly deformed and obscured by the total neglect of method. He is best known by a kind of rhyming romance, intitled John Gilpin's Journey to Edmonton, which is the most indifferent of all his performances. Mr. Cowper is now employed in a translation of the Iliad into English blank verse.