Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Today I stumbled upon William Cowper as I was searching for sovereign grace poets on google. I had heard of him briefly through reading different biographies and decided to read/listen to John Piper's "Insanity and Spiritual Songs in the Soul of a Saint" about William Cowper. I really enjoy his poetry but was disturbed as I read his biography and learned about his very depressed life. How terrible to let your mind drift and go on every whim of feeling and bad dream. His story is very intriguing.
Anyways I decide to post a few of his poems I enjoy, I have made bold the lines I really loved.
God Moves In A Mysterious Way
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.
Prayer For Patience
Lord, who hast suffer'd all for me,
My peace and pardon to procure,
The lighter cross I bear for Thee,
Help me with patience to endure.
The storm of loud repining hush;
I would in humble silence mourn;
Why should the unburnt, though burning bush,
Be angry as the crackling thorn?
Man should not faint at Thy rebuke,
Like Joshua falling on his face,
When the cursed thing that Achan took
Brought Israel into just disgrace.
Perhaps some golden wedge suppress'd,
Some secret sin offends my God;
Perhaps that Babylonish vest,
Self-righteousness, provokes the rod.
Ah! were I buffeted all day,
Mock'd, crown'd with thorns and spit upon,
I yet should have no right to say,
My great distress is mine alone.
Let me not angrily declare
No pain was ever sharp like mine,
Nor murmur at the cross I bear,
But rather weep, remembering Thine.
The Narrow Way
What thousands never knew the road!
What thousands hate it when 'tis known!
None but the chosen tribes of God
Will seek or choose it for their own.
A thousand ways in ruin end,
One only leads to joys on high;
By that my willing steps ascend,
Pleased with a journey to the sky.
No more I ask or hope to find
Delight or happiness below;
Sorrow may well possess the mind
That feeds where thorns and thistles grow.
The joy that fades is not for me,
I seek immortal joys above;
There glory without end shall be
The bright reward of faith and love.
Cleave to the world, ye sordid worms,
Contented lick your native dust!
But God shall fight with all his storms,
Against the idol of your trust.
These are ones of nature.....
Epitaph On A Hare
Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,
Nor swiftewd greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne’er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman’s hallo’,
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nurs’d with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confin’d,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.
Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance ev’ry night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.
His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.
On twigs of hawthorn he regal’d,
On pippins’ russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads fail’d,
Slic’d carrot pleas’d him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he lov’d to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.
His frisking wa at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching show’rs,
Or when a storm drew near.
Eight years and five round rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,
And ev’ry night at play.
I kept him for his humour’s sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.
But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits inn snug concealment laid,
‘Till gentler puss shall come.
He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney’s box,
Must soon partake his grave.
The Poplar Field
The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade:
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew,
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade.
The blackbird has fled to another retreat
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat;
And the scene where his melody charmed me before
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.
'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man;
Short-lived as we are, our enjoyments, I see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.
Well I could post of of his poems here but it would be a very long post so I'll leave you where you can read more on your own, their so eloquently written.
WILLIAM COWPER POEMS