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WILLIAM COWPER, ESQ.
OF THE INNER TEMPLE.
AN INTRODUCTORY ESSAY,
AUTHOR OF "THE WORLD BEFORE THE FLOOD," AND OTHER POEMS.
PRINTED FOR WILLIAM COLLINS;
OLIVER & BOYD, WM. WHYTE & CO. AND WM. OLIPHANT, EDINBURGH;
M. DCCC. XXXIV.
""Twere new, indeed, to see a bard all fire,
THESE lines occur in the first of CowPER's published poems, and, from their connection with a review of the themes of his predecessors, as well as from their correspondence with the character of his following works, it may be assumed, that in them the Poet intimated the course which he himself intended to take, while, with the prophetic consciousness of genius, he anticipated his future triumph. Though it cannot be allowed that our Author was so "baptized with the Spirit and with fire," as to accomplish his purpose with the energy, splendour, and effect, implied in this rapturous presage, yet that he did accomplish it, in a manner peculiarly honourable to himself, will be acknowledged by all who are at once judges of true poetry and true piety. The number of these may be small; but with the multitude of