1815 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. William Slatyer

Philip Bliss, Athenae Oxonienses (1815) 3:229-30.



From a marginal note to one of the prefatory poems to his Palae Albion, entitled Authoris Votum, it seems that Slatyer was born at Tykenham in Somersetshire, near to Bristol.

He was presented in 1625 to the rectory of Otterden in Kent, which he had a dispensation for holding with that of Newchurch. He was also the treasurer to the cathedral church of St. Davids.

He died Feb. 14, 1646, aged 59, and was buried at Otterden.

Slatyer's Latin, is superior to his English, poetry, of which the following lines give as favourable a specimen as can be procured on a hasty view of his Palae-Albion.

Faine would I visit Phoebus shrine,
And Dodon oracles divine,
Parnassus hill, and Phocis fields,
That sacred cells and solace yeelds:
Pierian sisters, honored nymphs,
Lov'd and ador'd by learning's imps,
Pallas, faire Sol, and Memnosine,
O gently favour my designes,
And shew me out of stories old
The warlike acts of Britons bold;
Or guide me to the towre of fame
To find their first birth, ere heaven's frame,
Or earth, or sea was, Chaos was,
And out of that confused masse
Natures commander did produce
Bright stars, for heaven, heaven for earth's use;
The flowry vales, the hills and woods,
Fresh rivulets, and salt swelling floods;
And earth, and aire, and sea, brought forth
Their wondrous creatures, sundrie sorts!
The golden sunne appeares in skie,
And dainty showres in clouds on hie,
Whiles Atlas on his shoulders beares
The burden of the starry spheares.
Then mighty Jove cuts earth and heaven
By zones, degrees, and portions eaven;
Farre North or South are frosts and snowes,
I' th' midst sweat Cancers scorched pawes,
Both sides beene temp'rate zones, the windes
Eurus and Zephyr, to both Indes,
Auster to th' Aethips hyes apace,
Boreas to Scythia, North, and Thrace.
p. 4.

There is a small head of Slatyer prefixed to his Translation of the Psalms, 1650.