William Cowper

Overview

William Cowper, converted under a heterodox but eloquent early Methodist preacher, began a rocky spiritual journey which was to rise to great heights, yet, even to the end of his life, intermittently descended to abysmal depths of psychological torment and despair. Most of his poetry was written in rustic retreats to which he was forced by his persistent emotional fragility, and some of the best of it was written under the restorative pastoral counselling of ("Amazing Grace") John Newton. Yet even in the throes ...
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Overview

William Cowper, converted under a heterodox but eloquent early Methodist preacher, began a rocky spiritual journey which was to rise to great heights, yet, even to the end of his life, intermittently descended to abysmal depths of psychological torment and despair. Most of his poetry was written in rustic retreats to which he was forced by his persistent emotional fragility, and some of the best of it was written under the restorative pastoral counselling of ("Amazing Grace") John Newton. Yet even in the throes of his own despondency Cowper was able to write poems and hymns which then and since have been comforting to others. He thus remains about as fine an example as English literature affords of the "wounded healer." In this compact volume some of Cowper's best poetry-narrative, lyrical, personal, public-are gathered together with his confessional autobiography and part of his correspondence with Newton.

David Lyle Jeffrey is Distinguished Professor of Literature and Humanities at Baylor University. His other books include English Spirituality in the Age of Wesley and English Spirituality in the Age of Wyclif (also available from Regent College Pubishing).

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573832281
  • Publisher: Regent College Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

William Cowper was a poet and a hymnodist who changed the direction of 18th-century nature poetry by writing on everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. Nick Rhodes is an editor and a poet.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
Select Bibliography 21
On the Receipt of My Mother's Picture out of Norfolk 23
from Conversation 26
from Retirement 27
I. Walking with God 33
XXXV. Light Shining out of Darkness 34
IX. The Contrite Heart 35
XXXII. The Shining Light 36
Lines Written During a Period of Insanity 36
The Shrubbery 37
Verses supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk, during his Solitary Abode in the Island of Juan Fernandez 38
On the Loss of The Royal George 40
The Diverting History of John Gilpin 41
On the Death of Mrs. Throckmorton's Bullfinch 51
The Needless Alarm 53
The Colubriad 57
Epitaph on a Hare 58
The Retired Cat 60
To The Nightingale 64
On a Spaniel Called Beau 65
Beau's Reply 65
The Poplar-Field 67
Ode to Apollo 67
Yardley Oak 69
To Mary 74
The Castaway 76
The Task: from Book One 79
The Task: from Book Two 83
The Task: from Book Three 85
The Task: from Book Four 88
The Task: from Book Five 96
The Task: from Book Six 105
Notes 115
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