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No poet wept him, but the page
Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,
Is wet with Anson's tear.
And tears by bards or heroes shed,
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
To give the melancholy theme
But misery still delights to trace
No voice Divine the storm allayed,
When, snatched from all effectual air,
We perished, each alone:
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.
This was his last poem, and his last attempt at poetry, though, as late as January, 1800, he employed himself in translating some of Gay's Fables into Latin verse. The regret has often been expressed, as it was in his life-time, that his great powers should not have given to some other original poetical undertaking rather than employed for so many years in the translation of Homer. But he had accomplished enough for one poet in the composition of "The Task." What God sees fit to do in the discipline of the human mind by poetry, He evidently does sparingly. And, indeed, if the quantity were greater, the value would be less, and the effect would be diminished. It is like the precious metals for the coin of society; abundance
would destroy their use. So Divine Providence in every age limits and regulates the supply of poets and of poetry in the world. Another poem like the last might have been produced, but the effect of both together would perhaps not have been so great as that of Cowper's volume alone.
When Cowper wrote "The Castaway,” he was in reality, as to time, just on the verge of Heaven; the day of his deliverance was drawing nigh. Nevertheless, up to the last hour his mind remained in deep, unbroken gloom. In March, the physician in Norwich being requested to see him, asked him how he felt. "Feel!" said Cowper, "I feel unutterable despair!" The 19th of April, Mr. Johnson, "apprehending that his death was near, adverted to the affliction both of body and mind which Cowper was enduring, and ventured to speak of his approaching dissolution as the signal of his deliverance. After a pause of a few moments, less interrupted by the objections of his desponding relative than he had dared to hope, he proceeded to an observation more consolatory still; namely, that in the world to which he was hastening, a merciful Redeemer had prepared inexpressible happiness for all His children, and therefore for him. To the first part of this sentence, Cowper had listened with composure; but the concluding words were no sooner uttered, than his passionately expressed entreaties that his companion would de
sist from any further observations of a similar kind, clearly proved that, though it was on the eve of being invested with angelic light, the darkness of delusion still vailed his spirit." He died as calmly as a sleeping infant, in the afternoon of the 25th of April, 1800, and from that moment the expression into which the countenance settled was observed by his loving relative "to be that of calmness and composure, mingled, as it were, with holy surprise;" and he regarded this as an index of the last thoughts and enjoyments of his soul, in its gradual escape from the depths of that inscrutable despair in which it had been so long shrouded.
MISSIONARY SPEECH BY DR. Duff.-SPHERE OF COWPER'S USEFULNESS.-COWPER'S OWN REVIEW OF HIS EARLY LIFE.-PROVIDENCE AND GRACE IN IT.-COWPER'S ADMIRABLE CRITICISMS.-HYMNS FOR THE PARISH CLERK.-ADVICE IN REGARD TO STUDY.
It is a sweet thing to behold how the words of poets passed into the skies become the resort of Christian hearts for the utterance of their deepest and holiest feelings. This is the case, above all others, with the poetry of Watts and Cowper. How many souls have they been permitted to accompany, and even to persuade and allure to the mercy-seat, and to interpret the breathings of how many hearts in their nearest approaches to God on earth, and on the solemn verge of death, and almost in the very entrance to Heaven! And yet, through how much suffering, in the instance of Cowper's genius, was this great privilege accorded! And with what ineffable delight must such beatified minds look down from amid their part in the anthems of Heaven, to behold assemblages of saints on earth adoring and praising God through