1791 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Cowper

Anonymous, "A Choice Recepit to make a Translation of Homer" Morning Chronicle (1 September 1791).



'Tis thus a Translator of Homer should act,
First, let his Translation be far from exact.
The numbers should never harmoniously flow,
But the verse should be rough, and the language be low;
Arrang'd like the Greek, if each word you bring in,
For Grammar and harmony care not a pin;
This will to a true English Reader convey
The most perfect transcript of old Homer's lay;
Tho' I'm free to confess 'twill be void of pretence
To fidelity, melody, Grammar, or sense.