1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joshua Sylvester

Giles Jacob, in Historical Account of the Lives and Writings of our most considerable English Poets (1720) 209-10.



A very eminent Translator in the Reign of King James the First. He translated several Works of the Divine Du Bartas; particularly, Eden, the Ark, the Fathers, and The six Day's Work of the Creation gain'd him a great deal of Fame, having many Admirers, and being usher'd into the World by the greatest Wits of the Age: Amongst others, the Immortal Ben Johnson thus wrote to him:

If to Admire were to Commend, my Praise
Might then both thee, thy Work, and Merit raise;
But as it is, how can I speak, but err,
Since they can only judge that can confer?
Behold! the Reverend Shade of Bartas stands
Before my Thought, and (in thy Right) commands
That to the World I publish for him this:
Bartas doth wish the English now were his,
So well in that are his Intentions wrought,
As his will now be the Translation thought,
Thine the Original; and France shall boast
No more those Maiden Glories she has lost.