chapter  8
3 Pages

The Task: a poem of composite order

Once The Task was finished Cowper completed Tirocinium, a satire in heroic couplets, somewhat in the vein of his moral satires, directed against the public schools. This poem of nine-hundred lines, together with 'John Gilpin' (now attributed to its author) and a complimentary epistle to Cowper's old friend and benefactor Joseph Hill, was used to bulk out the volume in which The Task was published in July 1785.