William Cowper (1731 – 1800) was an English poet and hymn writer. 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. His religious sentiment and association with John Newton (who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace) led to much of the poetry for which he is best remembered, and to the series of Olney Hymns. His poem Light Shining out of Darkness gave English the phrase: “God moves in a mysterious way/His wonders to perform.” He also wrote a number of anti-slavery poems.
Quotes by William Cowper…
He is the free man whom the truth makes free, and all are slaves besides.
Not to understand a treasure’s worth… is cause of half the poverty we feel, and makes the world the wilderness it is.
Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, have oft-times no connection. Knowledge dwells in heads replete with thoughts of other men; wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Freedom has a thousand charms to show, that slaves, however contented, never know.
Plunged in thy depth of mercy let me die
The death that every soul that lives desires.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone, leads to the land where sorrow is unknown. No traveller ever reached that blessed abode who found not thorns and briers in his road.