I will venture to assert, that a just translation of any ancient poet in rhyme is impossible. No human ingenuity can be equal to the task of closing every couplet with sounds homotonous, expressing at the same time the full sense, and only the full sense of his original.
When scandal has new-minted an old lie, Or tax'd invention for a fresh supply, 'Tis call'd a satire, and the world appears Gathering around it with erected ears; A thousand names are toss'd into the crowd, Some whisper'd softly, and some twang'd aloud, Just as the sapience of an author's brain, Suggests it safe or dangerous to be plain.
Dejection of spirits, which may have prevented many a man from becoming an author, made me one. I find constant employment necessary, and therefore take care to be constantly employed. . . . When I can find no other occupation, I think; and when I think, I am very apt to do it in rhyme.
Acquaint thyself with God, if thou would'st tasteHis works. Admitted once to his embrace,Thou shalt perceive that thou was blind before:Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heartMade pure shall relish with divine delightTill then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.