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Selected Poetry of William Cowper (1731-1800)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

God made the country, and man made the town.
What wonder then that health and virtue, gifts
That can alone make sweet the bitter draught
That life holds out to all, should most abound
And least be threaten'd in the fields and groves?
        (The Task: from Book I: The Sofa, 749-753)
  1. The Castaway
  2. Light Shining out of Darkness
  3. On Receipt Of My Mother's Picture
  4. On the Loss of the Royal George
  5. The Retired Cat
  6. The Shrubbery
  7. Sonnet to William Wilberforce, Esq.
  8. The Task: from Book I: The Sofa (excerpt)
  9. The Task: from Book II: The Time-Piece (excerpt)
  10. The Task: from Book IV: The Winter Evening (excerpt)
  11. The Task: from Book V: The Winter Morning Walk (excerpt)
  12. The Task: from Book VI: The Winter Walk at Noon (excerpt)
  13. To Mary


Notes on Life and Works

Biographical information

Given name: William
Family name: Cowper
Birth date: 15 November 1731
Death date: 25 April 1800
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: John Cowper
          mother: Anne Cowper
          brother: John Cowper
Languages
          English
          Latin
          Greek
Education
          School of Dr. Pitman, Market Street, Hertfordshire: 1737
          Westminster school: 1741 to 1748
          Middle Temple: 29 April 1748
Religion: Christian
Literary period: Augustan
Residences
          Great Berkhamstead: 15 November 1731
          Southampton Row: 1748
          St. Albans, mad house of Dr. Nathaniel Cotton: 1763 to 1765
          Huntingdon: 22 June 1765
Illnesses
          Mental disease
          Smallpox: 1745
Buried at: St. Edmund's Chapel, East Dereham Church
First RPO edition: 1997