1618 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Chapman

Michael Drayton, "To my worthy Friend Mr. George Chapman, and his translated Hesiod" The Georgicks of Hesiod, by George Chapman (1618) sig. A4-A4v.



Chapman; We finde by thy past-prized fraught,
What wealth thou dost upon this Land conferre;
Th' olde Graecian Prophets hither that hast brought,
Of their full words the true Interpreter:
And by thy travell, strongly hast exprest
The large dimensions of the English tongue,
Delivering them so well, the first and best,
That to the world in Numbers ever sung.
Thou hast unlock'd the treasury, wherein
All Art, and knowledge have so long been hidden:
Which, till the gracefull Muses did begin
Here to inhabite, was to us forbidden.

In blest Elizium, (in a place most fit)
Under that tree due to the Delphian God,
Musaeus, and that Iliad Singer sit,
And neare to them that noble Hesiod,
Smoothing their rugged foreheads; and do smile,
After so many hundred yeares to see
Their Poems read in this farre westerne Ile,
Translated from their ancient Greeke, by thee;
Each his good Genius whispering in his eare,
That with so lucky, and auspicious fate
Did still attend them, whilst they living were,
And gave their Verses such a lasting date.

Where slightly passing by the Thespian spring,
Many long after did but onely sup;
Nature, then fruitfull, forth these men did bring,
To fetch deepe Rowses from Joves plentious cup.

In thy free labours (friend) then rest content.
Fear not Detraction, neither fawne on Praise:
When idle Censure all her force hath spent,
Knowledge can crowne her self with her owne Baies.
Their Lines, that have so many lives outworne,
Cleerely expounded shall base Envy scorne.