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WILLIAM COWPER
English poet
(1731 - 1800)
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. . . thieves at home must hang; but he that puts
  Into his overgorged and bloated purse
    The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.
      - Task (bk. I, l. 736) [Corruption]

God made the country, and man made the town.
      - Task (bk. I, l. 749) [Cities : Proverbs]

Grac'd with a sword, and worthier of a fan.
      - Task (bk. I, l. 771) [Cowardice]

Necessity invented stools,
  Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs,
    And luxury the accomplish'd Sofa last.
      - Task (bk. I, l. 86) [Furniture]

Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
  Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
    The tone of languid Nature.
      - Task (bk. I, The Sofa, l. 181)
        [Country Life : Nature]

Doing good,
  Disinterested good, is not our trade.
      - Task (bk. I, The Sofa, l. 673) [Goodness]

Some boundless contiguity of shade.
      - Task (bk. II) [Trees]

O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
  Some boundless contiguity of shade;
    Where rumor of oppression and deceit,
      Of unsuccessful or successful war,
        Might never reach me more.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 1) [Peace]

Oh, for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
  Some boundless contiguity of shade,
    Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
      Of unsuccessful or successful war,
        Might never reach me more!
      - Task (bk. II, l. 1) [Solitude]

Mountains interposed
  Make enemies of nations, who had else
    Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 17) [Mountains]

England with all thy faults, I love thee still--
  My country! and, while yet a nook is left
    Where English minds and manners may be found,
      Shall be constrained to love thee.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 206) [England]

Praise enough
  To fill the ambition of a private man,
    That Chatham's language was his mother-tongue.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 235) [Praise]

There is a pleasure in poetic pains,
  Which only poets know.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 285) [Poets]

I would not have a slave to till my ground,
  To carry me, to fan me while I sleep,
    And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth
      That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 29) [Slavery]

I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
  Whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
    Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
      That he is honest in the sacred cause.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 372) [Preaching]

Would I describe a preacher,
  . . . .
    I would express him simple, grave, sincere;
      In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain,
        And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,
          And natural in gesture; much impress'd
            Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
              And anxious mainly that the flock he feeds
                May feel it too; affectionate in look,
                  And tender in address, as well becomes
                    A messenger of grace to guilty men.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 394) [Preaching]

Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their lungs
  Receive our air, that moment they are free;
    They touch our country, and their shackles fall.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 40) [Slavery]

O Popular Applause! what heart of man
  Is proof against thy sweet, seducing charms?
      - Task (bk. II, l. 431) [Applause]

He that negotiates between God and man,
  As God's ambassador, the grand concerns
    Of judgment and of mercy, should beware
      Of lightness in his speech.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 463) [Preaching]

The things that mount the rostrum with a skip,
  And then skip down again, pronounce a text,
    Cry hem; and reading what they never wrote
      Just fifteen minutes, huddle up their work,
        And with a well-bred whisper close the scene!
      - Task (bk. II, l. 463) [Preaching]

Variety's the very spice of life,
  That gives it all its flavour.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 506) [Proverbs : Variety]

Dress drains our cellar dry,
  And keeps our larder lean; puts out our fires
    And introduces hunger, frost, and woe,
      Where peace and hospitality might reign.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 614) [Apparel : Proverbs]

The rout is Folly's circle, which she draws
  With magic wand. So potent is the spell,
    That none decoy'd into that fatal ring,
      Unless by Heaven's peculiar grace, escape.
        There we grow early gray, but never wise.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 627) [Society]

She that asks
  Her dear five hundred friends, contemns them all,
    And hates their coming.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 642) [Friends]

His frown was full of terror, and his voice
  Shook the delinquent with such fits of awe
    As left him not, till penitence had won
      Lost favor back again, and clos'd the breach.
      - Task (bk. II, l. 659) [Fear]


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