William Cowper


Picture of William Cowper

William Cowper ( KOO-pər; 26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800) was an English poet and Anglican hymnwriter. 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him "the best modern poet", whilst William Wordsworth particularly admired his poem "Yardley-Oak".After being institutionalised for insanity, Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity. He continued to suffer doubt about his salvation and, after a dream in 1773, believed that he was doomed to eternal damnation. He recovered, and went on to write more religious hymns.

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Quotes from William Cowper