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'Tis pleasant, through the loopholes of retreat, / To peep at such a world; to see the stir / Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd.


William Cowper

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God moves in mysterious ways
His wonders to performs
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All zeal for a reform, that gives offence To peace and charity, is mere pretence.
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Some boundless contiguity of shade.
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God made the country and man made the town.
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Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.
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The darkest day, If you live till tomorrow will have past away.
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The man that hails you Tom or Jack, and proves by thumps upon your back how he esteems your merit, i...
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I pity them greatly, but I must be mum, for how could we do without sugar and rum?
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God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the ...
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A fool must now and then be right, by chance.
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Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair.
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Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness c...
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Thus happiness depends, as nature shows, less on exterior things than most suppose.
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No one was ever scolded out of their sins.
WILLIAM COWPER
Detested sport, That owes its pleasures to another's pain.
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Thus neither the praise nor the blame is our own.
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With spots quadrangular of diamond form, Ensanguined hearts, clubs typical of strife, And spad...
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Habits of close attention, thinking heads, Become more rare as dissipation spreads, Till autho...
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None but an author knows an author's cares, Or Fancy's fondness for the child she bears.
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Call'd to the temple of impure delight He that abstains, and he alone, does right. If a wish w...
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We are his, To serve him nobly in the common cause, True to the death, but not to be his slave...
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Seek to delight, that they may mend mankind. And, while they captivate, inform the mind.
WILLIAM COWPER
Dream after dream ensues; And still they dream that they shall still succeed; And still are di...
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Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of o...
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Ceremony leads her bigots forth, prepared to fight for shadows of no worth. While truths, on which e...
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That good diffused may more abundant grow.
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All learned, and all drunk!
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Reasoning at every step he treads, Man yet mistakes his way, Whilst meaner things, whom instinct l...
WILLIAM COWPER
I was a stricken deer that left the herd Long since.
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The earth was made so various, that the mind of desultory man, studious of change, and pleased with ...
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I venerate the man whose heart is warm, Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life, C...
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'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume; And we are w...
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Here the heart May give a useful lesson to the head, And learning wiser grow without his books...
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The man that hails you Tom or Jack, And proves by thumps upon your back How he esteems your me...
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He comes, the herald of a noisy world, With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen locks; ...
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Nature is a good name for an effect whose cause is God.
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Wisdom and goodness are twin-born, one heart Must hold both sisters, never seen apart.
WILLIAM COWPER
With spots quadrangular of diamond form,/ Ensanguined hearts, clubs typical of strife, / And spades,...
WILLIAM COWPER
Thus always teasing others, and days teas'd, His only pleasure is to be displeas'd
WILLIAM COWPER
It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme Rudely appealed to on each trifling theme
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Still ending, and beginning still
WILLIAM COWPER
They that fight for freedom undertakeThe noblest cause mankind can have at stake.
WILLIAM COWPER
The dearest idol I have known, Whatever that idol be, Help me to tear it from thy throne , And worsh...
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With outstretched hoe I slew him at the door, / And taught him NEVER TO COME THERE NO MORE.
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Commemoration of Charles Williams, Spiritual Writer, 1945 I thirst, but not as once I did, The vain...
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Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair.
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And the tear that is wiped with a little address, May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
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On the summit see, The seals of office glitter in his eyes; He climbs, he pants, he grasps the...
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He assigned it to regions more than tropical.
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The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade,/ And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade!
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Spare feast! a radish and an egg.
WILLIAM COWPER
I was a stricken deer, that left the herd / Long since.
WILLIAM COWPER
Great princes have great playthings.
WILLIAM COWPER
Freedom hath a thousand charms to show, That slaves however contented never know
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O, popular applause! what heart of man is proof against thy sweet, seducing charms?
WILLIAM COWPER
No wild enthusiast could rest, till half the world like him was possessed.
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A fretful temper will divide the closest knot that may be tied, by ceaseless sharp corrosion; a temp...
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Candid and generous and just. Boys care but little whom they trust. An error soon corrected -- for w...
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Forced from home, and all its pleasures, afric coast I left forlorn; to increase a stranger's treasu...
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Absence of occupation is not rest; A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
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Great contest follows, and much learned dust Involves the combatants; each claiming truth, And...
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Give what thou canst, without Thee we are poor; And with Thee rich, take what Thou wilt away.
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I pity bashful men, who feel the pain Of fancied scorn and undeserved disdain, And bear the ma...
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So that the jest is clearly to be seen, Not in the words--but in the gap between; Manner is al...
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O Winter! ruler of the inverted year, . . . . I crown thee king of intimate delights, F...
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Without one friend, above all foes, Britannia gives the world repose.
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Now let us sing, long live the king.
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There is in souls a sympathy with sounds.
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Ever let the Fancy roam, Pleasure never is at home.
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Fanaticism, the false fire of an overheated mind.
WILLIAM COWPER
O Winter! ruler of the inverted year, . . . I crown thee king of intimate delights, Fireside enjoyme...
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Words learned by rote a parrot may rehearse; but talking is not always to converse, not more distinc...
WILLIAM COWPER
'Tis hard if all is false that I advance
A fool must now and then be right, by chance.
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A hat not much worse for wear.
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Mercy to him that shows it, is the rule.
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For 'tis a truth well known to most, That whatsoever thing is lost, We seek it, ere it comes t...
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Oh, my friend, it's not what they take away from you that counts. It's what you do with what you h...
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What peaceful hours I once enjoy'd! How sweet their memory still! But they have left an aching...
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He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch, Cold and yet cheerful; messenger of grief Perhap...
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Would I describe a preacher, . . . . I would express him simple, grave, sincere; In doct...
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Who loves a garden loves a greenhouse too.
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Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor.
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God made bees, and bees made honey, God made man, and man made money, Pride made the devil, an...
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The path of sorrow, and that path alone, Leads to the lands where sorrow is unknown.
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O solitude, where are the charms That sages have seen in thy face? Better dwell in the midst o...
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We bear our shades about us; self-deprived Of other screen, the thin umbrella spread, And rang...
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Words learn'd by rote a parrot may rehearse, But talking is not always to converse, Not more d...
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No tree in all the grove but has its charms, Though each its hue peculiar.
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Be it a weakness, it deserves some praise, We love the play-place of our early days; The scene...
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Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds, Exhilarate the spirit, and restore The tone of langu...
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That, though on pleasure she was bent, She had a frugal mind.
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A business with an income at its heels.
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Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.
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I would not have a slave to till my ground, To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, And tremble ...
WILLIAM COWPER
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free, And all are slaves besides.
WILLIAM COWPER
No, Freedom has a thousand charms to show That slaves, howe'er contented, never know.
WILLIAM COWPER
But many a crime deemed innocent on earth Is registered in Heaven; and these no doubt Have eac...
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And spare the poet for his subject's sake.
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We start from the Mother's Arms and we run to the Dustshovel.
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From reveries so airy, from the toil / Of dropping buckets into empty wells, / And growing old in dr...
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He that holds fast the golden mean,And lives contently betweenThe little and the great,Feels not the...
WILLIAM COWPER
There is a bird who by his coat,And by the hoarseness of his note,Might be supposed a crow.
WILLIAM COWPER
I seem forsaken and alone, / I hear the lion roar; / And every door is shut but one, / And that is M...
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A firm persuasion of the superintendence of Providence over all our concerns is absolutely necessary...
WILLIAM COWPER
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,/ The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
WILLIAM COWPER
Absence from whom we love is worse than death, and frustrates hope severer than despair
WILLIAM COWPER
Stop, while ye may; suspend your mad career!
WILLIAM COWPER
Mine is an unchanging love,Higher than the heights above,Deeper than the depths beneath,Free and fai...
WILLIAM COWPER
The pipe, with solemn interposing puff,Makes half a sentence at a time enough;The dozing sages drop ...
WILLIAM COWPER
He sees that this great roundaboutThe world, with all its motley rout,Church, army, physic, law,Its ...
WILLIAM COWPER
God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform. He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides...
WILLIAM COWPER
Discourse may want an animated "No"
To brush the surface, and to make it flow;
But still r...
WILLIAM COWPER
Oh, laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest, / A cassocked huntsman and a fiddling priest!
WILLIAM COWPER
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contently between
The little and the great,<...
WILLIAM COWPER
A cheap but wholesome salad from the brook.
WILLIAM COWPER
Variety's the very spice of life, that gives it all it's flavour.
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His wit invites you by his looks to come, But when you knock, it never is at home.
WILLIAM COWPER
A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
WILLIAM COWPER
Assail'd by scandal and the tongue of strife, His only answer was a blameless life; And he tha...
WILLIAM COWPER
Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs Receive our air, that moment they are free; T...
WILLIAM COWPER
I praise the Frenchman; his remark was shrewd,-- "How sweet, how passing sweet is solitude." B...
WILLIAM COWPER
A story, in which native humour reigns, Is often useful, always entertains; A graver fact, enl...
WILLIAM COWPER
Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavour.
WILLIAM COWPER
The earth was made so various, that the mind Of desultory man, studious of change And pleased ...
WILLIAM COWPER
They whom truth and wisdom lead, can gather honey from a weed.
WILLIAM COWPER
Nature is a good name for an effect whose cause is God.
WILLIAM COWPER
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees.
WILLIAM COWPER
It chills my blood to hear the blest Supreme rudely appealed to on each trifling theme.
WILLIAM COWPER
Man disavows, and Deity disowns me: hell might afford my miseries a shelter; therefore hell keeps he...
WILLIAM COWPER
Visitors are insatiable devourers of time, and fit only for those who, if they did not visit, would ...
WILLIAM COWPER
Religion! what treasure untold resides in that heavenly word!
WILLIAM COWPER
The parson knows enough who knows a Duke.
WILLIAM COWPER
If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ...
WILLIAM COWPER
Dress drains our cellar dry, And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires And introduces hung...
WILLIAM COWPER
If hindrances obstruct the way, Thy magnanimity display. And let thy strength be seen: B...
WILLIAM COWPER
He would not, with a peremptory tone, Assert the nose upon his face his own.
WILLIAM COWPER
Me therefore studious of laborious ease.
WILLIAM COWPER
The mind, relaxing into needful sport, Should turn to writers of an abler sort, Whose wit well...
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When admirals extoll'd for standing still, Of doing nothing with a deal of skill.
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Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day, Live till to-morrow, will have pass'd away.
WILLIAM COWPER
Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression and deceit, of unsuccessful a...
WILLIAM COWPER
Glory built on selfish principles is shame and guilt.
WILLIAM COWPER
Exactness is the sublimity of fools. [Fr., L'exactitude est le sublime des sots.]
WILLIAM COWPER
A life of ease is a difficult pursuit.
WILLIAM COWPER
. . . glory built On selfish principles is shame and guilt.
WILLIAM COWPER
Gloriously drunk, obey the important call.
WILLIAM COWPER
Our wasted oil unprofitably burns, Like hidden lamps in old sepulchral urns.
WILLIAM COWPER
The things that mount the rostrum with a skip, And then skip down again, pronounce a text, Cry...
WILLIAM COWPER
How much a dunce that has been sent to roam Excels a dunce that has been kept at home.
WILLIAM COWPER
How shall I speak thee, or thy power address Thou God of our idolatry, the Press. . . . . ...
WILLIAM COWPER
Did Charity prevail, the press would prove A vehicle of virtue, truth, and love.
WILLIAM COWPER
Then liberty, like day, Breaks on the soul, and by a flash from Heaven Fires all the faculties...
WILLIAM COWPER
The only amarantine flower on earth Is virtue.
WILLIAM COWPER
A cheap but wholesome salad from the brook.
WILLIAM COWPER
Let her pass, and charioted along / In guilty splendour, shake the public ways!
WILLIAM COWPER
Away went Gilpin, neck or naught, / Away went hat and wig!
WILLIAM COWPER
O for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade, Where rumour of oppressio...
WILLIAM COWPER
Nor sword nor spear the stripling took, / But chose a pebble from the brook.
WILLIAM COWPER
It is a terrible thought, that nothing is ever forgotten; that not an oath is ever uttered that does...
WILLIAM COWPER
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
WILLIAM COWPER
Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor
WILLIAM COWPER
And diff'ring judgments serve but to declare that truth lies somewhere, if we knew but where
WILLIAM COWPER
Can a woman's tender care / Cease towards the child she bare? / Yes, she may forgetful be,/ Yet will...
WILLIAM COWPER
Far happier are the dead methinks than they who look for death and fear it every day
WILLIAM COWPER
Let her pass, and charioted along / In guilty splendour, shake the public ways!
WILLIAM COWPER
If my resolution to be a great man was half so strong as it is to despise the shame of being a littl...
WILLIAM COWPER
John Gilpin was a citizen / Of credit and renown, / A train-band captain eke was he / Of famous Lond...
WILLIAM COWPER
Discourse may want an animated "No"To brush the surface, and to make it flow;But still remember, if ...
WILLIAM COWPER
Oh, laugh or mourn with me the rueful jest, / A cassocked huntsman and a fiddling priest!
WILLIAM COWPER
I cannot talk with civet in the room,A fine puss-gentleman that's all perfume.
WILLIAM COWPER
Pleasure admitted in undue degree Enslaves the will, nor leaves the judgment free.
WILLIAM COWPER
O for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade; Where rumor of oppr...
WILLIAM COWPER
I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.
WILLIAM COWPER
Feast of Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely, c.678 O for a closer walk with God, A calm and heavenly frame...
WILLIAM COWPER
His frown was full of terror, and his voice Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe As left...
WILLIAM COWPER
How fleet is a glance of the mind! Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself l...
WILLIAM COWPER
Absence of occupation is not rest, A mind quite vacant is a mind distress'd.
WILLIAM COWPER
In indolent vacuity of thought.
WILLIAM COWPER
Doing good, Disinterested good, is not our trade.
WILLIAM COWPER
Made poetry a mere mechanic art.
WILLIAM COWPER
In idle wishes fools supinely stay; Be there a will,--and wisdom finds a way.
WILLIAM COWPER
I shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau - If birds confabulate or no
WILLIAM COWPER
O Winter, ruler of the inverted year!
WILLIAM COWPER
The dinner waits, and we are tired: / Said Gilpin - So am I!
WILLIAM COWPER
Reasoning at every step he treads, Man yet mistakes his way, Whilst meaner things, whom instinct lea...
WILLIAM COWPER
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, the mere materials with which wisdom builds, till smoothed and ...
WILLIAM COWPER
A man renowned for repartee will seldom scruple to make free with friendship's finest feeling, will ...
WILLIAM COWPER
Variety is the very spice of life that gives it all its flavour.
WILLIAM COWPER
The path of sorrow and that path alone, leads to a land where sorrow is unknown.
WILLIAM COWPER
Unless a love of virtue light the flame,
Satire is, more than those he brands, to blame;
He ...
WILLIAM COWPER
Remorse, the fatal egg that pleasure laid.
WILLIAM COWPER
Remorse begets reform.
WILLIAM COWPER
How much a dunce that has been sent to roam, excels a dunce that has been kept at home.
WILLIAM COWPER
You told me, I remember, glory, built
On selfish principles, is shame and guilt;
The deeds th...
WILLIAM COWPER
The innocent seldom find an uncomfortable pillow.
WILLIAM COWPER
But conversation, choose what theme we may, And chiefly when religion leads the way, Should fl...
WILLIAM COWPER
Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.
WILLIAM COWPER
Toil for the brave! The brave that are no more.
WILLIAM COWPER
But oars alone can ne'er prevail To reach the distant coast; The breath of Heaven must swell t...
WILLIAM COWPER