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The pictures, placed for ornament and use,
goose; The hearth, except when winter chilled the day, With aspen boughs, and flowers and fennel gay; While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show, Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a row.
WILLIAM COWPER.-Born, 1731. Died, 1800. William Cowper was born in the parsonage of Great Berkhampstead. His father was Chaplain to George II., and his mother, a lady by birth, was the daughter of a Norfolk squire. She died when Cowper was six
Delicate and sensitive from childhood, he had a taint of diseased melancholy which, from time to time, overshadowed his intellect; but when in comparative health he displayed an eminently vigorous, natural, and unaffected genius. The“ Task” is his principal poem, and is distinguished, like all his other writings, by its purity and lofty tone, no less than its originality, delightful freshness, and manly strength of thought and expression. Cowper's Letters are the most delightful in the language.
ON THE RECEIPT OF HIS MOTHER'S PICTURE.
Oh, that those lips had language ! Life has passed
14 Twelve rules for good living often 15 A game played with dice and a
hung up in ale houses, where, board on which 63 circles from certainly, they are very much the figure of a goose. needed.
solaced, comforted. 2 The painter's art,
The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear;
My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ? Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son, Wretch even then, life's journey just begun? Perhaps thou gav’st me, though unfelt, a kiss; Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss.Ah, that maternal smile! it answers—“ Yes.” I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day, I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, And, turning from my nursery window, drew A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! But was it such? It was. · Where thou art gone, Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown ; May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore, The parting word shall pass my lips no more !
3 filial grief, that of a son.
of bliss, among the Greeks.
Elysium was the place
Thy maidens, grieved, themselves, at my concern,
stock of infant sorrows spent,
Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more, Children not thine have trod my nursery floor ; And where the gardener Robin, day by day, Drew me to school along the public way, Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapped In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capped, 'Tis now become a history little known, That once we called the pastoral house our own. Short-lived possession! But the record fair That memory keeps of all thy kindness there, Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced A thousand other themes less deeply traced. Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid; Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, The biscuit, or confectionery plum ; The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed:
concern, here, grief, o Cowper's father was the Rev. John Cowper, rector of Great Berkhamp
stead. The rectory is here alluded to.
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
; humour interposed, temper
9 numbers, verses.
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
12 quiescent, resting calmly.
were written in 1790. His mother
a man of 59. 15 devious, wandering. 16 Cowper's father was of an old
family, tracing its pedigree at least as far back as the reign of Edward IV. He was the son of a judge and the nephew of a Lord Chancellor. His mother also was descended, by four different lines, from Henry III., King of
England. 17 unrevoked, not called back.