William Cowper


HAPPY songster! perch'd above
On the summit of the grove,
Whom a dew-drop cheers to sing
With the freedom of a king;
From thy perch, survey the fields,
Where prolific nature yields
Nought that, willingly as she,
Man surrenders not to thee.
For hostility or hate
None thy pleasures can create.
Thee it satisfies to sing
Sweetly the return of Spring,
Herald of the genial hours,
Harming neither herbs nor flow'rs.
Therefore man thy voice attends
Gladly—thou and he are friends;
Nor thy never-ceasing strains
Phoebus or the Muse disdains
As too simple or too long,
For themselves inspire the song.
Earth-born, bloodless, undecaying,
Ever singing, sporting, playing,
What has nature else to show
Godlike in its kind as thou?



The Complete Poetical Works of William Cowper.
H. S. Milford, ed.
London: Henry Frowde, 1905. 568-9.


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