Translations from the French of Madame de la Mothe Guion
by William Cowper
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In March of 1703, Madame Guion (or Guyon) went to live with her son in isolation after
her seven years of imprisonment for charges of heresy. During these last fifteen years of
her life, she spent much of her time either in prayer or writing religious poetry. William
Cowper, a poet and lyricist in his own right, has brought the English-speaking world
quality translations of many of Guyon’s poems. As in the original French, Guyon’s verse
reflects her mystical character and passionate search for the divine. The ideas contained
within her work, while condemned by some Christians, have influenced evangelical
Protestants in particular. Renowned evangelist Charles Spurgeon numbers among her
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