1821 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

Anonymous, "On the much-lamented Death of William Cowper, Esq. Author of the Task" Imperial Magazine 3 (July 1821) 615.



By hands unseen, to shield his earthly bed,
(Where weeping virtues o'er his cold turf bend,
And mourn the early doom of their lov'd friend,)
Shall sweetest flow'rs of earliest bloom be spread.
There shall the village maids and youths repair;
There shall the kindred soul that loves to grieve,
Still linger o'er his sylvan grove at eve,
And weep his fate. The redbreast here shall bare
The hoary moss, and flow'rs to deck the clay,
That shields from mould'ring dews the Poet's breast,
While pensive wand'ring thro' the moss-grown way
At eve, the kindred Muse, in sable drest,
Breathes her sad dirges o'er his lifeless clay,
And hymns, with sainted voice, his soul to rest.