Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cowper: what thou has won

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
    Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
    —Matthew 5:7 (NIV)
Thy country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,
Hears thee, by cruel men and impious, call’d
Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose th’ enthrall’d
From exile, public sale, and slav’ry’s chain.
Friend of the poor, the wrong’d, the fetter-gall’d,
Fear not lest labour such as thine be vain!
Thou hast achiev’d a part; hast gain’d the ear
Of Britain’s senate to thy glorious cause;
Hope smiles, joy springs, and tho’ cold caution pause
And weave delay, the better hour is near,
That shall remunerate thy toils severe
By peace for Afric, fenc’d with British laws.
    Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love
    From all the just on earth, and all the blest above!
    ... William Cowper (1731-1800), The Works of William Cowper: his life, letters, and poems, New York: R. Carter & Brothers, 1851, p. 643 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lead us to know, Lord, those whom You have raised up to oppose injustice in our time.
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