Sketches of Stoke Goldington
& Surrounding District

18. Cowper's Alcove

The alcove is out in the fields, about a mile outside Weston Underwood. The poet William Cowper used to meditate here.

A tablet on the wall of The Alcove bears the inscription below, taken from 'The Task':

The summit gained. Behold the proud alcove

That crowns it! Yet not all pride secures

The grand retreat from injuries impress'd

By rural carvers, who with knives deface

The panels, leaving an obscure rude name,

In characters uncouth, and spelt amiss,

So strong the zeal t'immortalize himself

Beats in the breast of man, that ev'n a few

Few transient years, won from the abyss abhorr'd

And even to a clown. Now roves the eye;

And posted on this speculative height,

Exults in its command.

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