Cowper, William, the poet. The leading events in the life of Cowper are: born in his father's rectory, Berkhampstead, Nov. 26, 1731; educated at Westminster; called to the Bar, 1754; madness, 1763; residence at Huntingdon, 1765; removal to Olney, 1768; to Weston, 1786; to East Dereham, 1795; death there, April 25, 1800.
The simple life of Cowper, marked chiefly by its innocent recreations and tender friendships, was in reality a tragedy. His mother, whom he commemorated in the exquisite "Lines on her picture," a vivid delineation of his childhood, written in his 60th year, died when he was six years old. At his first school he was profoundly wretched, but happier at Westminster; excelling at cricket and football, and numbering Warren Hasti… Go to person page >
I thirst, but not as once I did. W. Cowper. [Thirsting for God.] Given in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 61, in 5 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "My soul thirsteth for God." It is found in several American collections, and in a few also in Great Britain.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)