Having posted a poem that seems very out of character for William Cowper, I will now post a poem in which we hear the voice of the man much more distinctly. This is Cowper at his Cowperest.
"Ouse" is a river near Olney along which Cowper used to take his walks.
THE POPLAR FIELD
The poplars are felled, farewell to the shade,
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade;
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.
Twelve years have elaps'd, since I last took a view
Of my favorite field, and the bank where they grew;
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat, that once lent me shade.
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene, where his melody charm'd me before,
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.
The change both my heart and my fancy employs,
I reflect on the frailty of man, and his joys;
Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.