Charles Cotton

(28 April 1630 – 16 February 1687 / Beresford Hall)

Charles Cotton
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Charles Cotton was an English poet and writer, best known for translating the work of Michel de Montaigne from the French, for his contributions to The Compleat Angler, and for the highly influential The Compleat Gamester which has been attributed to him.

Early Life

He was born at Beresford Hall on the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. His father, Charles Cotton the Elder, was a friend of Ben Jonson, John Selden, Sire Henry Wottonand Izaak Walton. The son was apparently not sent to university, but was tutored by Ralph Rawson, one of the fellows ejected from Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1648. Cotton travelled in France and perhaps in Italy, and at the age of ... more »

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Best Poem of Charles Cotton

The Angler's Ballad

AWAY to the brook,
All your tackle out look,
Here's a day that is worth a year's wishing;
See that all things be right,
For 'tis a very spite
To want tools when a man goes a-fishing.

Your rod with tops two,
For the same will not do
If your manner of angling you vary
And full will you may think
If you troll with a pink,
One too weak will be apt to miscarry.

Then basket, neat made
By a master in's trade
In a belt at your shoulders must dangle;
For none e'er was so vain
To wear this to disdain,
Who a true Brother was of the...

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