William Cowper


English Poet and Hymnodist

Author Quotes

To-morrow is our wedding-day, and we will then repair unto the bell at edmonton, all in a chaise and pair.

We are never more in danger than when we think ourselves most secure, nor in reality more secure than when we seem to be most in danger.

When perjury, that heaven-defying vice, sells oaths by tale, and at the lowest price, stamps god's own name upon a lie just made, to turn a penny in the way of trade.

Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.

Yon ancient prude, whose wither'd features show she might be young some forty years ago, her elbows pinion'd close upon her hips, her head erect, her fan upon her lips, her eyebrows arch'd, her eyes both gone astray to watch yon amorous couple in their play, with bony and unkerchief'd neck defies the rude inclemency of wintry skies, and sails, with lappet-head and mincing airs, duly at chink of bell to morning prayers.

Transforms old print to zigzag manuscript, and cheats the eyes of gallery critics by a thousand arts.

We bear our shades about us; self-deprived Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread, And range an Indian waste without a tree.

When scandal has new-minted an old lie, or tax'd invention for a fresh supply, 'tis call'd a satire, and the world appears gathering around it with erected ears; a thousand names are toss'd into the crowd, some whisper'd softly, and some twang'd aloud, just as the sapience of an author's brain, suggests it safe or dangerous to be plain.

Wit, now and then, struck smartly, shows a spark.

You do well to improve your opportunity; to speak in the rural phrase, this is your sowing time, and the sheaves you look for can never be yours, unless you make that use of it. The colour of our whole life is generally such as the three or four first years in which we are our own masters make it. Then it is that we may be said to shape our own destiny, and to treasure up for ourselves a series of future successes or disappointments.

True charity, a plant divinely nurs'd.

We perished, each alone: but I beneath a rougher sea, and whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

When the British warrior queen, bleeding from the Roman rods, sought, with an indignant mien, counsel of her country's gods.

With a soul that ever felt the sting of sorrow, sorrow is a sacred thing.

Your lordship and your grace, what school can teach a rhetoric equal to those parts of speech? What need of homer's verse, or tully's prose, sweet interjections! If he learn but those? Let rev'rend churls his ignorance rebuke, who starve upon a dog's ear'd Pentateuch, the parson knows enough who knows a duke.

Thus neither the praise nor the blame is our own.

True modesty is a discerning grace and only blushes in the proper place; but counterfeit is blind, and skulks through fear, where 'tis a shame to be asham'd t' appear: humility the parent of the first, the last by vanity produc'd and nurs'd.

We sacrifice to dress till household joys and comforts cease. Dress drains our cellar dry, and keeps our larder clean; puts out our fires, and introduces hunger, frost, and woe, where peace and hospitality might reign.

When this poor, lisping, stammering tongue lies silent in the grave.

With filial confidence inspired, can lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye, and smiling say, my father made them all!

Time, as he passes us, has a dove's wing, unsoil'd, and swift, and of a silken sound.

Truth is the golden girdle of the globe.

We start from the Mother's Arms and we run to the dust shovel.

When was public virtue to be found where private was not? Can he love the whole who loves no part? He be a nation's friend, who is, in truth, the friend of no man there? Who slights the charities for whose dear sake, that country, if at all, must be beloved?

With melting airs, or martial, brisk, or grave; some chord in unison with what we hear is touch'd within us, and the heart replies.

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English Poet and Hymnodist