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Best Famous William Cowper Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous William Cowper poems. This is a select list of the best famous William Cowper poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous William Cowper poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of William Cowper poems.

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Written by William Cowper |

The Castaway

 Obscurest night involv'd the sky,
Th' Atlantic billows roar'd,
When such a destin'd wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.
No braver chief could Albion boast Than he with whom he went, Nor ever ship left Albion's coast, With warmer wishes sent.
He lov'd them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again.
Not long beneath the whelming brine, Expert to swim, he lay; Nor soon he felt his strength decline, Or courage die away; But wag'd with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life.
He shouted: nor his friends had fail'd To check the vessel's course, But so the furious blast prevail'd, That, pitiless perforce, They left their outcast mate behind, And scudded still before the wind.
Some succour yet they could afford; And, such as storms allow, The cask, the coop, the floated cord, Delay'd not to bestow.
But he (they knew) nor ship, nor shore, Whate'er they gave, should visit more.
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he Their haste himself condemn, Aware that flight, in such a sea, Alone could rescue them; Yet bitter felt it still to die Deserted, and his friends so nigh.
He long survives, who lives an hour In ocean, self-upheld; And so long he, with unspent pow'r, His destiny repell'd; And ever, as the minutes flew, Entreated help, or cried--Adieu! At length, his transient respite past, His comrades, who before Had heard his voice in ev'ry blast, Could catch the sound no more.
For then, by toil subdued, he drank The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him: but the page Of narrative sincere; That tells his name, his worth, his age, Is wet with Anson's tear.
And tears by bards or heroes shed Alike immortalize the dead.
I therefore purpose not, or dream, Descanting on his fate, To give the melancholy theme A more enduring date: But misery still delights to trace Its semblance in another's case.
No voice divine the storm allay'd, No light propitious shone; When, snatch'd from all effectual aid, We perish'd, each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.

Written by William Cowper |

Lines Written During A Period Of Insanity

 Hatred and vengence—my eternal portion
Scarce can endure delay of execution— 
Wait with impatient readiness to seize my
Soul in a moment.
Damned below Judas; more abhorred than he was, Who for a few pence sold his holy Master! Twice betrayed, Jesus me, the last delinquent, Deems the profanest.
Man disavows, and Deity disowns me: Hell might afford my miseries a shelter; Therefore Hell keeps her ever-hungry mouths all Bolted against me.
Hard lot! encompassed with a thousand dangers; Weary, faint, trembling with a thousand terrors, I'm called, if vanquished, to receive a sentence Worse than Abiram's.
Him the vindictive rod of angry Justice Sent quick and howling to the centre headlong; I, fed with judgment, in a fleshy tomb am Buried above ground.

Written by William Cowper |

Grace and Providence

 Almighty King! whose wondrous hand
Supports the weight of sea and land;
Whose grace is such a boundless store,
No heart shall break that sighs for more.
Thy providence supplies my food, And 'tis Thy blessing makes it good; My soul is nourish'd by Thy Word, Let soul and body praise the Lord! My streams of outward comfort came From Him who built this earthly frame; Whate'er I want His bounty gives, By whom my soul forever lives.
Either His hand preserves from pain, Or, if I feel it, heals again; From Satan's malice shields my breast, Or overrules it for the best.
Forgive the song that falls so low Beneath the gratitude I owe! It means Thy praise: however poor, An angel's song can do no more.

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Written by William Cowper |


 Far from the world, O Lord, I flee,
From strife and tumult far;
From scenes where Satan wages still
His most successful war.
The calm retreat, the silent shade, With prayer and praise agree; And seem, by Thy sweet bounty made, For those who follow Thee.
There if Thy Spirit touch the soul, And grace her mean abode, Oh, with what peace, and joy, and love, She communes with her God! There like the nightingale she pours Her solitary lays; Nor asks a witness of her song, Nor thirsts for human praise.
Author and Guardian of my life, Sweet source of light Divine, And, -- all harmonious names in one, -- My Saviour! Thou art mine.
What thanks I owe Thee, and what love, A boundless, endless store, Shall echo through the realms above, When time shall be no more.

Written by William Cowper |

Welcome to the Table

 This is the feast of heavenly wine,
And God invites to sup;
The juices of the living Vine
Were press'd to fill the cup.
Oh! bless the Saviour, ye that eat, With royal dainties fed; Not heaven affords a costlier treat, For Jesus is the bread.
The vile, the lost, He calls to them; Ye trembling souls, appear! The righteous in their own esteem Have no acceptance here.
Approach, ye poor, nor dare refuse The banquet spread for you; Dear Saviour, this is welcome news, Then I may venture too.
If guilt and sin afford a plea, And may obtain a place, Surely the Lord will welcome me, And I shall see his face.

Written by William Cowper |


 Fresh fields and woods! the Earth's fair face, 
God's foot-stool, and man's dwelling-place.
I ask not why the first Believer Did love to be a country liver? Who to secure pious content Did pitch by groves and wells his tent; Where he might view the boundless sky, And all those glorious lights on high; With flying meteors, mists and show'rs, Subjected hills, trees, meads and flow'rs; And ev'ry minute bless the King And wise Creator of each thing.
I ask not why he did remove To happy Mamre's holy grove, Leaving the cities of the plain To Lot and his successless train? All various lusts in cities still Are found; they are the thrones of ill; The dismal sinks, where blood is spill'd, Cages with much uncleanness fill'd.
But rural shades are the sweet fense Of piety and innocence.
They are the Meek's calm region, where Angels descend and rule the sphere, Where heaven lies leiger, and the dove Duly as dew, comes from above.
If Eden be on Earth at all, 'Tis that, which we the country call.

Written by William Cowper |


 (Phillipians, iv.
11) Fierce passions discompose the mind, As tempests vex the sea, But calm, content and peace we find, When, Lord, we turn to Thee.
In vain by reason and by rule We try to bend the will; For none but in the Saviour's school Can learn the heavenly skill.
Since at His feet my soul has sate, His gracious words to hear, Contented with my present state, I cast on Him my care.
"Art thou a sinner, soul?" He said, "Then how canst thou complain? How light thy troubles here, if weigh'd With everlasting pain! "If thou of murmuring wouldst be cured, Compare thy griefs with mine! Think what my love for thee endured, And thou wilt not repine.
"'Tis I appoint thy daily lot, And I do all things well; Thou soon shalt leave this wretched spot, And rise with me to dwell.
"In life my grace shall strength supply, Proportion'd to thy day; At death thou still shalt find me nigh, To wipe thy tears away.
" Thus I, who once my wretched days In vain repinings spent, Taught in my Saviour's school of grace, Have learnt to be content.

Written by William Cowper |

The Sower

 (Matthew, xiii.
3) Ye sons of earth prepare the plough, Break up your fallow ground; The sower is gone forth to sow, And scatter blessings round.
The seed that finds a stony soil Shoots forth a hasty blade; But ill repays the sower's toil, Soon wither'd, scorch'd, and dead.
The thorny ground is sure to balk All hopes of harvest there; We find a tall and sickly stalk, But not the fruitful ear.
The beaten path and highway side, Receive the trust in vain; The watchful birds the spoil divide, And pick up all the grain.
But where the Lord of grace and power Has bless'd the happy field, How plenteous is the golden store The deep-wrought furrows yield! Father of mercies, we have need Of thy preparing grace; Let the same Hand that give me seed Provide a fruitful place!

Written by William Cowper |

The Christian

 Honor and happiness unite
To make the Christian's name a praise;
How fair the scene, how clear the light,
That fills the remnant of His days!

A kingly character He bears,
No change His priestly office knows;
Unfading is the crown He wears,
His joys can never reach a close.
Adorn'd with glory from on high, Salvation shines upon His face; His robe is of the ethereal dye, His steps are dignity and grace.
Inferior honors He disdains, Nor stoops to take applause from earth; The King of kings Himself maintains The expenses of His heavenly birth.
The noblest creature seen below, Ordain'd to fill a throne above; God gives him all He can bestow, His kingdom of eternal love! My soul is ravished at the thought! Methinks from earth I see Him rise! Angels congratulate His lot, And shout Him welcome to the skies.

Written by William Cowper |

The Hidden Life

 To tell the Saviour all my wants,
How pleasing is the task!
Nor less to praise Him when He grants
Beyond what I can ask.
My laboring spirit vainly seeks To tell but half the joy, With how much tenderness He speaks, And helps me to reply.
Nor were it wise, nor should I choose, Such secrets to declare; Like precious wines their taste they lose, Exposed to open air.
But this with boldness I proclaim, Nor care if thousands hear, Sweet is the ointment of His name, Not life is half so dear.
And can you frown, my former friends, Who knew what once I was, And blame the song that thus commends The Man who bore the cross? Trust me, I draw the likeness true, And not as fancy paints; Such honor may He give to you, For such have all His saints.

Written by William Cowper |


 The billows swell, the winds are high,
Clouds overcast my wintry sky;
Out of the depths to Thee I call, --
My fears are great, my strength is small.
O Lord, the pilot's part perform, And guard and guide me through the storm; Defend me from each threatening ill, Control the waves, -- say, "Peace! be still.
" Amidst the roaring of the sea My soul still hangs her hope on Thee; Thy constant love, thy faithful care, Is all that saves me from despair.
Dangers of every shape and name Attend the followers of the Lamb, Who leave the world's deceitful shore, And leave it to return no more.
Though tempest-toss'd and half a wreck, My Saviour through the floods I seek; Let neither winds nor stormy main Force back my shatter'd bark again.

Written by William Cowper |

Prayer for Children

 Gracious Lord, our children see,
By Thy mercy we are free;
But shall these, alas! remain
Subjects still of Satan's reign?
Israel's young ones, when of old
Pharaoh threaten'd to withhold,
Then Thy messenger said, "No;
Let the children also go!"

When the angel of the Lord,
Drawing forth his dreadful sword,
Slew with an avenging hand,
All the first-born of the land;
Then Thy people's door he pass'd,
Where the bloody sign was placed:
Hear us, now, upon our knees,
Plead the blood of Christ for these!

Lord, we tremble, for we know
How the fierce malicious foe,
Wheeling round his watchful flight,
Keeps them ever in his sight:
Spread Thy pinions, King of kings!
Hide them safe beneath Thy wings;
Lest the ravenous bird of prey
Stoop and bear the brood away.

Written by William Cowper |

Peace after a Storm

 When darkness long has veil'd my mind,
And smiling day once more appears,
Then, my Redeemer, then I find
The folly of my doubts and fears.
Straight I upbraid my wandering heart, And blush that I should ever be Thus prone to act so base a part, Or harbour one hard thought of Thee! Oh! let me then at length be taught What I am still so slow to learn, That God is love, and changes not, Nor knows the shadow of a turn.
Sweet truth, and easy to repeat! But when my faith is sharply tried, I find myself a learner yet, Unskilful, weak, and apt to slide.
But, O my Lord, one look from Thee Subdues the disobedient will, Drives doubt and discontent away, And Thy rebellious worm is still.
Thou art as ready to forgive As I am ready to repine; Thou, therefore, all the praise receive; Be shame and self-abhorrence mine.

Written by William Cowper |

Exhortation to Prayer

 What various hindrances we meet
In coming to a mercy seat!
Yet who that knows the worth of prayer,
But wishes to be often there?

Prayer makes the darken'd cloud withdraw,
Prayer climbs the ladder Jacob saw,
Gives exercise to faith and love,
Brings every blessing from above.
Restraining prayer, we cease to fight; Prayer makes the Christian's armour bright; And Satan trembles when he sees The weakest saint upon his knees.
While Moses stood with arms spread wide, Success was found on Israel's side; But when through weariness they fail'd, That moment Amalek prevail'd.
Have you no words? Ah, think again, Words flow apace when you complain, And fill your fellow-creature's ear With the sad tale of all your care.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent To heaven in supplication sent, Your cheerful song would oftener be, "Hear what the Lord has done for me.

Written by William Cowper |

Joy and Peace in Believing

 Sometimes a light surprises
The Christian while he sings;
It is the Lord who rises
With healing on His wings;
When comforts are declining,
He grants the soul again
A season of clear shining,
To cheer it after rain.
In holy contemplation We sweetly then pursue The theme of God's salvation, And find it ever new; Set free from present sorrow, We cheerfully can say, E'en let the unknown to-morrow Bring with it what it may! It can bring with it nothing, But He will bear us through; Who gives the lilies clothing, Will clothe His people too; Beneath the spreading heavens No creature but is fed; And He who feeds the ravens Will give His children bread.
Though vine nor fig tree neither Their wonted fruit shall bear, Though all the field should wither, Nor flocks nor herds be there: Yet God the same abiding, His praise shall tune my voice; For, while in Him confiding, I cannot but rejoice.