INTRODUCTION. After the publication of his "Table Talk" and other poems in March, 1782, William Cowper, in his quiet retirement at Olney, under Mrs. Unwin's care, found a new friend in Lady Austen. She was a baronet's widow who had a sister married to a clergyman near Olney, with whom Cowper was slightly acquainted. In the summer of 1781, when his first volume was being printed, Cowper met Lady Austen and her sister in the street at Olney, and... more...

ARGUMENT In a council of the Gods, Minerva calls their attention to Ulysses, still a wanderer. They resolve to grant him a safe return to Ithaca. Minerva descends to encourage Telemachus, and in the form of Mentes directs him in what manner to proceed. Throughout this book the extravagance and profligacy of the suitors are occasionally suggested. Muse make the man thy theme, for shrewdness famedAnd genius versatile, who far and wideA... more...

BOOK I. Achilles sing, O Goddess! Peleus' son;His wrath pernicious, who ten thousand woesCaused to Achaia's host, sent many a soulIllustrious into Ades premature,And Heroes gave (so stood the will of Jove)5To dogs and to all ravening fowls a prey,When fierce dispute had separated onceThe noble Chief Achilles from the sonOf Atreus, Agamemnon, King of men. Who them to strife impell'd? What power divine?10Latona's son and Jove's. For he,... more...

John Gilpin was a citizenOf credit and renown,A train-band captain eke was heOf famous London town. John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,Though wedded we have beenThese twice ten tedious years, yet weNo holiday have seen. To-morrow is our wedding-day,And we will then repairUnto the Bell at Edmonton,All in a chaise and pair. My sister and my sister's child,Myself and children three,Will fill the chaise; so you must rideOn... more...

Complimentary Pieces Addressed to the Author. 1Well as the author knows that the following testimonies are not so much about as above him, and that men of great ingenuity, as well as our friends, are apt, through abundant zeal, so to praise us as rather to draw their own likeness than ours, he was yet unwilling that the world should remain always ignorant of compositions that do him so much honour; and especially because he has other friends,... more...