1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joshua Sylvester

Bryan Waller Procter, in "English Poetry" Edinburgh Review 42 (April 1825) 53-54.



Joshua Silvester the once celebrated translator of Du Bartas, whose popularity more than rivalled the fame of Shakespeare and Spenser, is now almost utterly unknown. It would be difficult to account for such taste, did not the absurdities of fashion render every thing conceivable, The "Divine Weeks" is dull enough on the whole; yet there are parts which might be quoted, sufficient to justify the author's claim to great talent and lively fancy: and some of his minor poems, although full of conceits, are very musical. In his "Posthumi," the one beginning, "They say that shadows of deceased ghosts," — and that commencing, "Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air," give proofs of a good ear, to say no more.