1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Cotton

William Wordsworth, Preface to Poems (1815); Prose, ed. Grosart (1876) 2:142.



Finally, I will refer to Cotton's Ode Upon Winter, an admirable composition, though stained with some peculiarities of the age in which he lived, for a general illustration of the characteristics of Fancy. The middle part of this ode contains a most lively description of the entrance of Winter, with his retinue, as "A palsied king," and yet a military monarch, — advancing for conquest with his army; the several bodies of which, and their arms and equipments, are described with a rapidity of detail, and a profusion of fanciful comparisons, which indicate on the part of the poet extreme activity of intellect, and a correspondent hurry of delightful feeling.