Here, thrilled by danger, Cotton descends into the cave. He and his group have to crawl, but they press on in order to bring back the story. Cotton (bolder than Hobbes – at least in the poem) tells of his three failed attempts to pass through a dangerous passage, which almost goes underwater. Driven by shame, rather than courage, he succeeds at the fourth try and then wonders how he will get back.
About The Genuine works of Charles Cotton
This poem is an account of a visit to the famous 'Devil's Arse' cave in the Peak District. Cotton first published this satirical poem in 1681, just five years after Hobbes' poem on the 'Wonders of the Peak' was translated into English. The poems of both Hobbes and Cotton encouraged travellers seeking sensational experiences to travel to Derbyshire.
The poem is included in 'The Genuine Works of Charles Cotton', a miscellaneous collection of Cotton's most popular works, published posthumously in 1715. The book also contains two burlesque poems, and a treatise on horticulture. Cotton was a highly respected poet as well as an accomplished angler and horticulturalist.