1 To Jesus, the crown of my hope,
My soul is in haste to be gone;
Oh, bear me, ye cherubim, up,
And waft me away to his throne.
My Savior, whom absent I love;
Whom, not having seen, I adore;
Whose name is exalted above
All glory, dominion and power.
2 Dissolve thou these bands that detain
My soul from her portion in thee,
Ah! strike off this adamant chain,
And make me eternally free.
And then, nevermore shall the fears,
The trials, temptations, and woes,
Which darken this valley of tears,
Intrude on my blissful repose.
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 >