William Cowper

William Cowper

William Cowper (26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800) was an English poet and hymnodist. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry.

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

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

Absence from whom we love is worse than death and frustrates hope severer than despair.

How much a dunce that has been sent to roam excels a dunce that has been kept at home.

God made the country and man made the town.

Meditation here may think down hours to moments. Here the heart may give a useful lesson to the head and learning wiser grow without his books.

Where men of judgment creep and feel their way, The positive pronounce without dismay.

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

Ceremony leads her bigots forth prepared to fight for shadows of no worth. While truths on which eternal things depend can hardly find a single friend.

Thus happiness depends as nature shows less on exterior things than most suppose.

The dogs did bark, the children screamed, Up flew the windows all; And every soul bawled out, Well done! As loud as he could bawl.

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

The darkest day if you live till tomorrow will have passed away.

A self-made man? Yes and one who worships his creator.

Man may dismiss compassion from his heart but God never will.

No man can be a patriot on an empty stomach.

Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little, we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.

O popular applause! what heart of man is proof against thy sweet seducing charms?

An epigram is but a feeble thing - With straw in tail stuck there by way of sting.

Reasoning at every step he treads Man yet mistakes his way Whilst meaner things whom instinct leads Are rarely known to stray.

Remorse the fatal egg that pleasure laid.

O solitude where are the charms, That sages have seen in thy face? Better dwell in the midst of alarms, Than reign in this horrible place.

Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.

The innocent seldom find an uncomfortable pillow.

No one was ever scolded out of their sins.

Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too.

No wild enthusiast could rest till half the world like him was possessed.

Knowledge is proud that it knows so much, wisdom is humble that it knows no more.

It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme Rudely appealed to on each trifling theme.

Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees.

Glory built on selfish principles is shame and guilt.

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

The parson knows enough who knows a Duke.

Nature is a good name for an effect whose cause is God.

They whom truth and wisdom lead can gather honey from a weed.

A fool must now and then be right by chance.