Tag Archives: William Cowper

Light Shining Out of Darkness

Aurora Borealis. Frederic Edwin Church. 1865,


Light Shining Out of Darkness

William Cowper (1731-1800)


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 flow’r,


Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan his work in vain;

God is his own interpreter,

And he will make it plain.

‘I Praise the Frenchman’

The Solitude. Recollection of Vigen, Limousin. Camille Corot. 1866.


William Cowper


I praise the Frenchman, his remark was shrewd—

How sweet, how passing sweet is solitude!

But grant me still a friend in my retreat,

Whom I may whisper, Solitude is sweet.


A Little Poetry—The ‘Frenchman’ is the Enlightenment philosopher Voltaire who famously wrote that “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”

A Comparison Addressed to a Young Lady

Princess out of School. Edward Robert Hughes.


A Comparison Addressed to a Young Lady

William Cowper, 1875


Sweet stream that winds through yonder glade,

Apt emblem of a virtuous maid—

Silent and chaste she steals along,

Far from the world’s gay, busy throng;

With gentle yet prevailing force

Intent upon her destined course;

Graceful and useful all she does,

Blessing and bless’d where’er she goes,

Pure-bosomed as that wat’ry glass,

And Heav’n reflected in her face.