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William Cowper

(26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire)

Contentment


(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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Rookie Charles Rumberger (7/15/2014 2:44:00 PM)

    This poem is a good example of why I like Cowper's material. He shows an understanding of what life is really about. There is a depth not inferior to Poe, but while Poe so often leaves us wallowing in hopelessness, Cowper sees real and practical answers.
    Tis I appoint thy daily lot, /And I do all things well; ...
    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.
    Great poem! (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

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