Month: November 2014

Epitaph on a Hare by William Cowper (1784)

Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne’er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman’s halloo’,

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every 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 regaled,
On pippins’ russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out his idle noons,
And every 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 in 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 Snail by William Cowper

To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all

Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
                                                Of weather.

Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house, with much

Where’er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chattels none,
Well satisfied to be his own
                                                Whole treasure.

Thus, hermit-like, his life he leads,
Nor partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
                                                The faster.

Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combin’d)
If, finding it, he fails to find
                                                Its master.

Aspiration by Lemuel Covell

One happy evening calm and bright
The world stood silent by,
My muse arose and took her flight
To reach the lofty sky.

My soul on airy pinions flew,
And joyful clapt her wings,
And soared aloft to take a view
Of sweet, celestial things.

Thro’ climes and worlds before unknown,
She reached the happy plains,
Where on a high, majestic throne,
My smiling Jesus reigns.

There the eternal Father sits;
And there the sacred Dove;
All meaner joy my soul forgets,
To take her fill of love.

There hymning seraphs chant their songs,
With ever new delight,
There I beheld angelic throngs,
In robes divinely bright.

There saints in countless numbers be,
Who once were here below,
Complaining pilgrims like to me,
Now freed from all their woe.

No more they mourn a languid frame,
Nor fears nor foes prevail;
Their love breaks out in quenchless flame;
Their joys can never fail.

Their harps can never be unstrung,
So near the Great Supreme;
I listened to the notes they sung,
And Jesus was their theme.

They at the fountain head of bliss,
Drink ever fresh supplies;
No joy to be compared with this,
That’s found beneath the skies.

Why must I grovel here below,
Where sin and sorrow meet,
And scarce a drop of comfort know,
While theirs is bliss complete.

Yet, happy souls, I would not ask
To take your seats above;
I am unequal to your task
Of service, praise and love.

Beneath your feet some humble place,
Will set my heart at rest;
Only the nearer Jesus’ face,
The more divinely blest.

My all dependent on his smiles,
And centered in his love;
Not earth nor hell with all their wiles
Shall e’er my soul remove.

I’ll wait my heavenly Father’s will,
And stay till He shall please,
My warmest wishes to fulfill,
And grant a sweet release.

Then I’ll recline my weary head,
And bid the world adieu;
And leave my flesh among the dead,
To love and sing with you.

The Triumphs of Grace in the Wilderness by Lemuel Covell (1803)

From the realms where the day her first dawnings extends,
The Son of the gospel, in glory ascends!
Ye forests attend, while your children combine
In accents unusual, in transports divine.

Involv’d in uncertainty, darkness and death,
The clouds of destruction hung over our path,
Till yon rising splendor enlightened our way,
And pointed our steps to the regions of day.

A council, on high, has been held, to enquire
For help for mankind; and peace kindled the fire.
Provision is made for the nations distress’d;
And with the rich treasure, all lands be bless’d.

The chain of salvation, let down from above,
Cemented by justice, and brightened by love:
The safety of hope, the conductor of grace,
Joins heaven and earth in its mighty embrace.

On high see our Jesus, the penitent’s friend,
With banners of mercy, compassionate bend;
Inviting the wretched, rebellious and vile,
From ruin to flee, and repose in his smile.

The Prince of Salvation is coming, prepare
A way in the desert, his blessings to share:
He comes to relieve us from sin and from woes,
And bid the dark wilderness bud like the rose.

His reign shall extend from the east to the west,
Compose all the tumults of nature to rest,
The day-spring of glory illumines the skies,
And ages on ages of happiness rise.

The brute-hearted tempers of men shall grow tame,
The wolf and the lion lie down with the lamb;
The bear with the kine shall contentedly feed,
While children their young ones, in harmony lead.

The serpent shall dart all his venom in vain,
The rattle-snake, harmless, shall bask on the plain;
The infant shall play on the hole of the asp,
And, smiling, the folds of the cockatrice grasp.

No more shall the sound of the war-whoop be heard,
The ambush and slaughter, be no longer fear’d;
The tomahawk, buried, shall rust in the ground,
While peace and good will to the nations abound.

All spirit of war, to the gospel shall bow,
The bow lie, unstrung, at the tail of the plough;
To prune the young orchards, the spear shall be bent;
And loving the the world with a smile of content.

Slight tinctures of skin shall no longer engage,
The fury of jealous, murder and rage;
The white and the red shall, in friendship be join’d,
Wide spreading benevolences over mankind.

Hail! scene of felicity, transport and joy!
Where sin and vexation shall scarcely annoy:
Rich blessings of grace, from above, shall be giv’n,
And life only serve for a passage to heav’n!

Roll forward, dear Savior, roll forward the day
When all shall submit and rejoice in thy sway:
When white men and Indians, united in praise,
One vast hallelujah, triumphant, shall raise!

by  Lemuel Covell (1803)

Excerpt from Zion In Distress by Benjamin Keach (1681)

keachYou are to wait for God’s great Dispensations,
At whose disposal is the fate of the Nations;
His time is best, and in due Season he
Will bring this Beast to his Catastrophe.
He sits in Heaven, and beholds with Scorn,
This Rebels Pride. His glorious Son that’s born
Heir of the World, and Prince of Kingdoms too,
Shall surely Reign, because it is his due;
For all to him the Soveraign Rule must yield;
He shall the Crown and Royal Scepter wield:
Nations shall serve him; Kings that have abhor’d
His Name, shall pay him Homage, as their Lord.

by Benjamin Keach, 1681