Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON MR. SHERBURN'S TRANSLATION OF SENECA'S 'MEDEA', by THOMAS STANLEY



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ON MR. SHERBURN'S TRANSLATION OF SENECA'S 'MEDEA', by             Poet's Biography
First Line: That wise philosopher, who had design'd
Last Line: Thy version hath not borrow'd, but restor'd.
Subject(s): Seneca, Lucius Annaeus (4 Bc - 65 Ad); Sherburne, Sir Edward (1618-1702); Translating & Interpreting


THAT wise philosopher, who had design'd
To life the various passions of the mind,
Did wrong'd Medea's jealousy prefer
To entertain the Roman theatre;
Both to instruct the soul, and please the sight,
At once begetting horror and delight.
This cruelty thou dost once more express,
Though in a strange, no less becoming dress;
And her revenge hast robb'd of half its pride,
To see itself thus by itself outvied,
That boldest ages past may say, our times
Can speak, as well as act their highest crimes.
Nor wasn't enough to do his scene this right,
But what thou gav'st to us, with equal light
Thou wouldst bestow on him, nor wert more just
Unto the author's work, than to his dust;
Thou dost make good his title, aid his claim,
Both vindicate his poem and his name,
So shar'st a double wreath; for all that we
Unto the poet owe, he owes to thee.
Though change of tongues stol'n praise to some afford,
Thy version hath not borrow'd, but restor'd.





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