1800 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joshua Sylvester

Anna Seward to Charles Simpson, 30 August 1800; in Letters, ed. Scott (1811) 5:312-13.



I have lately read a curious book, recently published, Dunster on the subject of Joshua Sylvester's translation of the French poet, Du Bartas. It recalls this translation from the oblivion into which the alternate turgidness of its phraseology, and Dryden's contemptuous satire, had combined to place it. Its subject, the creation — the first pair — their temptation and fall, with other of the Scripture traditions. The translation is avowedly bold and paraphrastic, and first appeared when Milton was only eight years old.