William Cowper

(26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire)

The Doves - Poem by William Cowper

Reasoning at every step he treads,
Man yet mistakes his way,
While meaner things whom instinct leads
Are rarely known to stray.

One silent eve I wandered late,
And heard the voice of love;
The turtle thus addressed her mate,
And soothed the listening dove:

Our mutual bond of faith and truth,
No time shall disengage;
Those blessings of our early youth
Shall cheer our latest age.

While innocence without disguise,
And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,
And mine can read them there,

Those ills that wait on all below
Shall ne'er be felt by me,
Or gently felt, or only so,
As being shared with thee.

When lightnings flash among the trees,
Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,
And know no other fear.

'Tis then I feel myself a wife,
And press thy wedded side,
Resolved a union formed for life
Death never shall divide.

But oh! if fickle and unchaste,
(Forgive a transient thought,)
Thou couldst become unkind at last,
And scorn thy present lot.

No need of lightnings from on high,
Or kites with cruel beak,
Denied the endearments of thine eye
This widowed heart would break.

Thus sang the sweet sequestered bird,
Soft as the passing wind,
And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010



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