O love, of pure and heavenly birth!
O simple truth, scarce known on earth!
Whom men resist with stubborn will;
And, more perverse and daring still,
Smother and quench, with reasonings vain,
While error and deception reign.
Whence comes it, that, your power the same
As His on high from whence you came,
Ye rarely find a listening ear,
Or heart that makes you welcome here?—
Because ye bring reproach and pain,
Where'er ye visit, in your train.
The world is proud, and cannot bear
The scorn and calumny ye share;
The praise of men the mark they mean,
They fly the place where ye are seen;
Pure love, with scandal in the rear,
Suits not the vain; it costs too dear.
Then, let the price be what it may,
Though poor, I am prepared to pay;
Come shame, come sorrow; spite of tears,
Weakness, and heart–oppressing fears;
One soul, as least, shall not repine,
To give you room; come, reign in mine!
Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion
William Cowper (pronounced "Cooper"; b. Berkampstead, Hertfordshire, England, 1731; d. East Dereham, Norfolk, England, 1800) is regarded as one of the best early Romantic poets. To biographers he is also known as "mad Cowper." His literary talents produced some of the finest English hymn texts, but his chronic depression accounts for the somber tone of many of those texts. Educated to become an attorney, Cowper was called to the bar in 1754 but never practiced law. In 1763 he had the opportunity to become a clerk for the House of Lords, but the dread of the required public examination triggered his tendency to depression, and he attempted suicide. His subsequent hospitalization and friendship with Morley and Mary Unwin provided emotional st… Go to person page >
Author: Madame Guyon
Guyon, Madame. (1648-1717.) Jeanne Marie Bouyieres de la Mothe was the leader of the Quietist movement in France. The foundation of her Quietism was laid in her study of St. Francis de Sales, Madame de Chantal, and Thomas ä Kempis, in the conventual establishments of her native place, Montargis (Dep. Loiret), where she was educated as a child. There also she first learned the sentiment of espousal with Christ, to which later years gave a very marked development. She was married at sixteen to M. Guyon, a wealthy man of weak health, twenty-two years her senior, and her life, until his death, in 1676, was, partly from disparity of years, partly from the tyranny of her mother-in-law, partly from her own quick temper, an unhappy one. Her public… Go to person page >