William Cowper

(26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire)

William Cowper
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an English poet and hymnodist. 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. He was a nephew of the poet Judith Madan.

While Cowper found refuge in a fervent evangelical Christianity, the inspiration behind his much-loved hymns, he often experienced doubt and feared that he was doomed to eternal damnation. His religious sentiment and association with John Newton... more »

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  • ''The parson knows enough who knows a duke.''
    William Cowper (1731-1800), British poet. repr. In Poetical Works, ed. H.S. Milford (1934). Tirocinium, l. 403 (1785).
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