Light Shining out of Darkness

By William Cowper 1731–1800 William Cowper
1
God moves in a mysterious way,
      His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
      And rides upon the storm.

2
Deep in unfathomable mines
      Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
      And works his sov'reign will.

3
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
      The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
      In blessings on your head.

4
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
      But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence
      He hides a smiling face.

5
His purposes will ripen fast,
      Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
      But sweet will be the flow'r.

6
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
      And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
      And he will make it plain.

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Poet William Cowper 1731–1800

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Subjects God & the Divine, Religion, Faith & Doubt

Poetic Terms Imagery, Common Measure

 William  Cowper

Biography

William Cowper was the foremost poet of the generation between Alexander Pope and William Wordsworth and for several decades had probably the largest readership of any English poet. From 1782, when his first major volume appeared, to 1837, the year in which Robert Southey completed the monumental Life and Works of Cowper, more than a hundred editions of his poems were published in Britain and almost fifty in America.

Cowper's . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT God & the Divine, Religion, Faith & Doubt

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Poetic Terms Imagery, Common Measure

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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