He recovered and wrote more religious hymns. During this time, his most notable bleak poem was “The Castaway.”. In spite of periods of acute depression, Cowper's twenty-six years in Olney and later at Weston Underwood were marked by great achievement as poet, hymn-writer, and letter-writer. Newton invited Cowper to contribute to his hymnbook. In 1773, Cowper had a dream that would plague him for the rest of his life.

At Westminster School he studied under the headmaster John Nicoll. We perish'd, each alone; Cowper would never again enter a church or say a prayer. When he recovered his health, he kept busy by gardening, carpentry, and keeping animals. His versions (published in 1791) were the most significant English renderings of these epic poems since those of Alexander Pope earlier in the century. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry. [3] Cowper wrote a poem called "The Negro's Complaint" (1788) which rapidly became very famous, and was often quoted by Martin Luther King Jr. during the 20th-century civil rights movement. GOD moves in a mysterious way, Of the 68 hymns Cowper wrote, "Oh for a closer walk with God" and "God moves in a mysterious way" are the most well known. The school was attended by boys from prominent, as well as poor families. And sinners, plung'd beneath that flood, There he met curate John Newton, a former captain of slave ships who had devoted his life to the gospel.
Mary Unwin was the one who suggested that he keeps his mind occupied and wrote on the subject The Progress of Error. There is a pleasure in poetic pains Cowper was seized with dropsy in the spring of 1800 and died. In 1763, he started to work as a Clerk of Journals in the House of Lords, but the job put too much pressure on him. At Olney, Newton invited Cowper to contribute to a hymnbook that he was compiling. WILLIAM (BILL) COWPER SR. July 29, 1942 - August 14, 2016 A Celebration of Life For William (Bill) Cowper Sr. Will Be Held On Wednesday, September 14, 2016 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. His poem "Light Shining out of Darkness" gave English the phrase: "God moves in a mysterious way/ His wonders to perform. They instilled in young William a love of reading and gave him some of his first books – John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress and John Gay’s Fables. Cowper wrote a sequence of poems, Delia, chronicling this affair but the book was not published until 1825. He read through the Iliad and the Odyssey, which ignited his lifelong scholarship and love for Homer’s epics. A rival faction, however, challenged his appointment and the ordeal caused Cowper to enter Nathaniel Cotton's Collegium Insanorum at St. Albans. In 1781 Cowper met a sophisticated and charming widow named Lady Austen who inspired new poetry. In 1795, Mary Unwind died, leaving William Cowper in a very bad state.

He was skilled in the composition of Latin as well and wrote many verses of his own. He has buried in the St. Thomas of Canterbury chapel in East Dereham. His mother was Ann née Donne. He was seized with dropsy in the spring of 1800 and died. The School was very popular amongst the members of the Whig political party. William’s depression would wax and wane throughout life, and having Newton and his church ever present in his life was monumentally important in providing health and stability. His wonders to perform; She encouraged him to write about the sofa in his parlor. In 1795, Cowper and Unwin started to move several residences, until they finally settled in East Dereham.