Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE AUTHOR, WORK, AND TRANSLATOR, by BEN JONSON



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ON THE AUTHOR, WORK, AND TRANSLATOR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Who tracks this author's, or translator's pen
Last Line: That would have done that which you only can.
Subject(s): Mabbes, Thomas (1572-1642); Translating & Interpreting


Who tracks this author's, or translator's pen,
Shall find, that either hath read books, and men:
To say but one, were single. Then it chimes,
When the old words do strike on the new times,
As in this Spanish Proteus; who, though writ
But in one tongue, was formed with the world's wit:
And hath the noblest mark of a good book,
That an ill man dares not securely look
Upon it, but will loathe, or let it pass,
As a deformed face doth a true glass.
Such books deserve translators, of like coat
As was the genius wherewith they were wrote;
And this hath met that one, that may be styled
More than the foster-father of this child;
For though Spain gave him his first air and vogue,
He would be called, henceforth, the English Rogue,
But that he's too well-suited, in a cloth,
Finer than was his Spanish, if my oath
Will be received in court; if not, would I
Had clothed him so. Here's all I can supply
To your desert, who have done it, friend. And this
Fair emulation, and no envy is;
When you behold me wish myself, the man
That would have done that which you only can.





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