1790 ca. ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

William Hayley, "To our most kind and most dear Cowper" 1790 ca.; Southey, Life and Works of Cowper (1835-37) 3:227.



Bless'd be the characters, so kindly traced
In that dear hand, which I have long'd to view!
Pledge of affection old, and kindness new
From the reviving bard, supremely graced
With all the gifts of fancy, and of taste,
That can endear the mind; and, given to few,
The rarer, richer gift, a heart as true
As e'er the arms of amity embrac'd.
Ecstatic tears I on the paper shed,
That speaks, my Cowper, of thy mental health,
And of thy friendship, soothing as the dove.
So weeps the nymph, who, when long storms are fled,
Welcomes from sea, her bosom's rescued wealth
To life, to joy, to glory, and to love.