1814 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Cottle

John Gwilliam, in "To William Gifford, Celebrated Critic" Bower of Bliss (1814) 240.



Sots will be poets, poets will be sots,
And shoals of rhymers miserable Scotts,
While Scott himself (if such, indeed, cou'd be,)
Wou'd reign the sovereign lord of poesy:
Some aim at Dryden's line, and some at Pope's,
Lost in a world of metaphors and tropes,—
E'en liveried hirelings, grammarless, will try
To whine and simper in an elegy;
Whilst others, soaring to the God's abode,
Like Cottle, spin an epic or an ode,
And, pleas'd with their extravagancies, print,
Altho' in reason there be nothing in't.