1614 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joshua Sylvester

John Taylor the Water Poet, in "the Description of naturall English Poetry" Taylor, The Nipping or Snipping of Abuses (1614) sigs B2v-B3.



Du Bartas heavenly all admired Muse,
No unknowne Language ever us'de to use:
But as he was a Frenchman, so his lines
In native French with fame most glorious shines,
And in the English tongue tis fitly stated,
By silver-tongued Silvester translated
So well, so wisely, and so rarely done,
That he by it immortall fame hath wonne.
Then as Great Maro, and renowned Naso,
Brave Homer, Petrarcke, sweete Italian Tasso:
And numbers more, past numbring to be numberd,
Whose rare inventions never were incumberd,
With our outlandish chip chop gibrish gabling,
To fill mens eares with unacquainted babling:
Why may not then an Englishman, I pray,
In his owne language write as erst did they,
Yet must we suit our phrases to their shapes,
And in their imitations be their Apes.