POEMS BY ... OF THE INNER TEMPLE, ESQ. [with:] THE TASK, A POEM IN SIX BOOKS ... TO WHICH ARE ADDED ... AN EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ. TIROCINIUM, OR A REVIEW OF SCHOOLS, AND THE HISTORY OF JOHN GILPIN.

London: Printed for J. Johnson, 1782 - 1785. Two volumes. [4],367,[errata];[8],359,[1]pp. Uniformly bound in full forest green crushed levant, raised bands, spines gilt extra, gilt inner dentelles, a.e.g., by Riviere. Spines uniformly sunned to tan, a bit of foxing to prelims in each volume, two short marginal tears in fore-edge of [A3] in second volume, surface scratch to lower board of volume I, but a very good, tall (188mm) set, with the half-title in the second volume. Item #WRCLIT67617

First editions of Cowper's first and second collections of poems. While the second work is in many ways an independent collection, the half-title affirms the publisher's intention that it be identified as the second, companion volume to the first. As usual, John Newton's 8 page Preface is not present in the first volume - the decision to cancel it was made within a week of publication, and it was included in only a few special copies, and after the success of THE TASK, distributed on demand or separately to earlier purchasers. It did not appear as an integral part of the book until the fifth edition (1793). As usual, leaves E6 and I6 are in their canceled state. In the present copy of the second work, the catchwords on pp. 304 and 306 are correct. RUSSELL 68 & 69. HAYWARD 191. ROTHSCHILD 681. GROLIER ENGLISH HUNDRED 60. ESTC T14895 & T14896.

Price: $1,000.00