1651 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

George Chapman

Samuel Sheppard, "On Mr. Chapmans incomparable Translation of Homers Workes" Sheppard, Epigrams (1651) 162-63.



What none before durst ever venture on,
Unto our wonder is by Chapman done,
Who by his skill hath made great Homers Song
To vaile it's Bonnet to our English tongue,
So that the Learned well may question it,
Whether in Greek, or English Homer writ?
O happy Homer, such an able Pen
To have for thy Translator, happier then
Ovid, or Virgil, who beyond their strength
Are stretcht, each Sentence neare a Mile in length:
But our renoun'd Chapman worthy praise,
And meriting the never blasted Bayes,
Had rendered Homer in a genuine sence,
Yea, and hath added to his Eloquence:
And in his Comments, his true sence doth shew,
Telling Spondanus, what he ought to know;
Eusthatius, and all that on them take
Great Homers Mistick meaning plaine to make,
Yeeld him more dark, with farr fetcht Allegories,
Sometimes mistaking clean, his learned Stories:
As 'bout the flie Menalaus did inspire,
Junos retreat, Achilles strange desire;
But he, to his own sence doth him restore,
And Comments on him better then before
Any could do, for which (with Homer) wee
Will yeeld all Honour to his Memory.