William Cowper

(26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire)

Stanzas Subjoined To The Yearly Bill Of Mortality Of The Parish Of All-Saints, Northampton. Anno Domini 1789 - Poem by William Cowper

'Oh most delightful hour by man
Experienced here below,
The hour that terminates his span,
His folly and his woe!

'Worlds should not bribe me back to tread
Again life's dreary waste,
To see again my day o'erspread
With all the gloomy past.

'My home henceforth is in the skies,
Earth, seas, and sun, adieu!
All heaven unfolded to my eyes,
I have no sight for you.'

So spake Aspasio, firm possessed
Of faith's supporting rod,
Then breathed his soul into its rest,
The bosom of his God.

He was a man among the few
Sincere on virtue's side;
And all his strength from Scripture drew,
To hourly use applied.

That rule he prized, by that he feared,
He hated, hoped, and loved;
Nor ever frowned, or sad appeared,
But when his heart had roved.

For he was frail as thou or I,
And evil felt within:
But when he felt it, heaved a sigh,
And loathed the thought of sin.

Such lived Aspasio; and at last
Called up from earth to heaven,
The gulf of death triumphant passed,
By gales of blessing driven.

His joys be mine, each reader cries,
When my last hour arrives;
They shall be yours, my verse replies,
Such only be your lives.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010



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