1803 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Cotton

Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth, 5 March 1803; Works of Charles Lamb, ed. Lucas (1903-05) 6:262.



I send you a pound note, and with it the best things in the verse way I have lit upon for many a day. I believe they will be new to you. You know Cotton, who wrote a 2d part to Walton's Angler. A volume of his miscellaneous poems is scarce. Take what follows from a poem call'd Winter. I omit 20 verses, in which a storm is described, to hasten to the best:—

Louder, and louder, still they come,
Nile's Cataracts to these are dumb,
The Cyclops to these Blades are still,
Whose anvils shake the burning hill.

Were all the stars-enlighten'd skies
As full of ears, as sparkling eyes,
This rattle in the crystal hall
Would be enough to deaf them all.

What monstrous Race is hither tost,
Thus to alarm our British Coast,
With outcries such as never yet
War, or confusion, could beget? . . .