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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/370

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Another Epic! Who inflicts again
More books of blank upon the sons of men?
Bœotian Cottle, rich Bristowa's boast,
Imports old stories from the Cambrian coast,
And sends his goods to market—all alive!
Lines forty thousand, Cantos twenty-five!390
Fresh fish from Hippocrene![1] who'll buy? who'll buy?
The precious bargain's cheap—in faith, not I.
Your turtle-feeder's verse must needs be flat,[2]
Though Bristol bloat him with the verdant fat;
If Commerce fills the purse, she clogs the brain,
And Amos Cottle strikes the Lyre in vain.
In him an author's luckless lot behold!
Condemned to make the books which once he sold.
Oh, Amos Cottle!—Phœbus! what a name
To fill the speaking-trump of future fame!—400
Oh, Amos Cottle! for a moment think
What meagre profits spring from pen and ink!
When thus devoted to poetic dreams,
Who will peruse thy prostituted reams?
Oh! pen perverted! paper misapplied!

Had Cottle[3] still adorned the counter's side,
  1. "'Helicon' is a mountain, and not a fish-pond. It should have been 'Hippocrene.'"—B., 1816. [The correction was made in the Fifth Edition.]
  2. Too much in Turtle Bristol's sons delight
    Too much in Bowls of Rack prolong the night

    [MS. Second to Fourth Editions.]

    Too much o'er Bowls.—[Second and Third Editions.]

  3. Mr. Cottle, Amos, Joseph, I don't know which, but one