Thomas Cooper (March 20, 1805 – July 15, 1892) was a Chartist poet.
Cooper was born in Leicester, and apprenticed to a shoemaker. In spite of hardships and difficulties, he educated himself, and at 23 was a schoolmaster.
He became a leader and lecturer among the Chartists, and in 1842 was imprisoned in Stafford gaol for two years, where he wrote his Purgatory of Suicides, a political epic.
At the same time he adopted sceptical views, which he continued to hold until 1855, when he became a Christian, joined the Baptists, and was a preacher among them.
In his latter years he settled down into an old-fashioned Radical. His friends in 1867 raised an annuity for him, and in the last year of his life he received a government pension. In addition to his poems he wrote several novels. Somewhat impulsive, he was an honest and sincere man.
HAIL, awful pile! Child of Time's midnight age,
Now Mother in its youth renewed! The tomb
Of regal priests who banqueted on joys
ARE dreams a portion of our active life?
Are they the living movements of the soul,
Which grows more wakeful while the body sleeps;
TRUTH is growing—hearts are glowing
With the flame of Liberty:
Light is breaking—Thrones are quaking—
Hark!—the trumpet of the Free!
A SONG for the Free—the brave and the free—
Who feareth no tyrant's frown:
Who scorneth to bow, in obeisance low,