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 >
When darkness long has veiled my mind. W. Cowper. [Peace.] First published in R. Conyer's Collection, 1772, in 4 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed “Trials overcome by Hope." When included in the Olney Hymns, 1779, Bk. iii., No. 23, it was expanded into 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed, "Peace after a Storm." In its full, or in an abbreviated form, it is found in several hymn-books in Great Britain and America, both old and new. Although not referred to, so far as we can find, in Cowper's Memoirs, it was evidently written at or about the same time as his "God moves in a mysterious way."
Display Title: When Darkness Long Has Veiled My MindFirst Line: When darkness long has veiled my mindTune Title: RIVAULXAuthor: William CowperMeter: LMSource: Olney Hymns (London, W. Oliver, 1779), Book 3