ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION
C—n, "On reading the Life of William Cowper" The Monthly Magazine 19 (February 1805) 39.
1782: Rev. Edmund Cartwright
1786: Anna Seward
1786: Hannah More
1786: Rev. Robert Potter
1786: A. B.
1787: A Lady
1789: Walter Churchey
1789: R. B.
1790 ca.: William Hayley
1791 ca.: Thomas Clio Rickman
1792: John Bennet
1795: Rev. Richard Polwhele
1795 ca.: Anonymous
1796: Charles Lamb
1798: Thomas James Mathias
1800: A Gentleman at Bath
1800: C., 25th reg. infantry
1800: De Willoughby
1800: F. T. C.
1800: X. Z.
1800: Anna Seward
1801: William Holloway
1801: Leigh Hunt
1802: W. T.
1802: Paul Allen
1803: Thomas Clio Rickman
1803: Anna Seward
1804: Homunculus Lepidissimu
1805: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1806: Dr. John Aikin
1806: Rev. William Lisle Bowles
1806 ca.: Sobrino
1806: Rev. William Lisle Bowles
1807: Robert Southey
1809: Bp. Reginald Heber
1810: Dr. Randolph of Bath
1812: Bernard Barton
1812: Henry Crabb Robinson
1812: Charles Caleb Colton
1814: Thomas Barnes
1817: Leigh Hunt
1821: Emily Taylor
1822: Tobias Oldschool
1824: Bernard Barton
1824: William Hazlitt
1824: Rev. Carlos Wilcox
1824: S. J.
1824: Bryan Waller Procter
1825 ca.: Henry Mackenzie
1827: Ann Radcliffe
1827: William Goodhugh
1828: John Wilson
1830: Sir Samuel Egerton Brydges
1830: Rev. George Barrell Cheever
1833: Allan Cunningham
1851: Dr. David Macbeth Moir
1852: Mary Russell Mitford
1880: Thomas Humphry Ward
1882: Epes Sargent
1805: William Cowper
— Plunged deep in sorrow,
And dead to all those phantom-forms of bliss,
Which once awoke this soul to keen delight;
To Nature's charms, to Friendship's sacred glow,
And e'en to Hope's delicious transports dead,
What magic power shall set the prisoner free,
And give again forgotten extacies?
Is it a dream, or do those favour'd souls,
Who from high Heav'n inhale celestial light,
Is it a dream, or do they round my home,
This little nook obscure, diffuse their beams,
Steal the torn heart once more from Mis'ry's grasp,
And bid it rise, and glow with Virtue's fire?
Yes, 'tis Reality, the saint, the bard,
Discloses the mild graces of his soul,
Refinement, tenderness, benevolence,
And with a charm ineffable, unfolds
All that is excellent in human kind.
I thank thee, Heaven, that earth is not so poor
As once I deem'd it; that there still is left
Who taste of friendship's hallow'd mysteries,
Who fill domestic life with peace and love,
Who carry on celestial intercourse,
And who, by Virtue's animating aid,
Make Life's uneven path, "a downy road;"
And though there comes an hour, an awful hour,
When Mary's soothing voice is heard no more,
And Cowper's throbbing spirit sinks to rest,
Yet die they cannot; renovated souls,
Translated where the just made perfect dwell,
Live, rise, and reign for ever; and when night
Veils Earth's mysterious miseries from my view,
I see their sainted forms, hear their soft hymns,
And fain would dream, that me, such intercourse
Denied below, they beckon to their rest!
Hayley, this impotence of praise forgive,
Forgive presumption, which thy work inspires.
To snatch from mis'ry's grasp, and fling delight
Long, long untasted o'er an ardent mind,
To thee is higher bliss, or much I err,
Than to bestow on them another rose,
Whose path already Fate has strewed with flowers.
Friend of the sainted Bard, farewel, farewel!
But, if perchance, when Sorrow's school shall close,
Admitted to the threshold of the place
Where holy souls convene, in better strains
There will I thank thee for suspended grief,
For richest gleams of intellectual bliss,
Lighting a darksome passage to the tomb.