Posts tagged ‘to the reader’

Friday, 22 April 2016

To the Reader by Joachim du Bellay

Reader, this little book we bring
is flavoured of honey and gall and more
than a dash of salt. Should this delight
your palate, lovely; come and dine.
But should you find it’s not your thing,
then leave. The meal was not meant for
the likes of you. It’s quite all right.
You go your way, and I’ll go mine.

From: du Bellay, Joachim, The Regrets. A Bilingual Edition. Translated from the French and Latin, 2004, Northwestern University Press: Evanston, Illinois, p. 3.

Date: 1558 (original); 2004 (translation)

By: Joachim du Bellay (c1522-1560)

Translated by: David R. Slavitt (1935- )

Sunday, 15 March 2015

To the Reader by Robert Allott

I hang no lvie out to sell my Wine,
The Nectar of good witts will sell it selfe;
I feare not what detraction can define,
I saile secure from Envies storme or shelfe
I set my picture out to each mans vewe,
Limd with these colours, and so cunning arts,
That like the Phoenix will their age renewe,
And conquer Envie by their good desarts.
If any Cobler carpe above his shoo,
I rather pittie, then repine his action,
For ignorance stil maketh much adoo,
And wisdom loves that which offends detraction.
Go fearles forth, my booke, hate canot harm thee,
Apollo bred thee, & the Muses arm thee.

From: Collier, J. Payne (ed.), Seven English Poetical Miscellanies, Printed Between 1556 and 1662 (Englands Parnassus compiled by Robert Allott, 1600), Volume 6, 1867, London, p. 36.

Date: 1600

By: Robert Allott (fl. 1600)

Monday, 21 April 2014

To the Reader by Cyril Tourneur

It may be (Reader) I may gall those men
Whose golden thoughts thinke no man dare them touch;
It may be too my fearelesse ayre-plume-pen
May rouse that sluggish watch whose tongues are such
As are controll’d by feare or gold too much:
Yet were Apelles here, he could not paint
Forth perfectly the world’s deformities.
For as the troubled mind whose sad complaint
Still tumbles forth half-breathed accenties,
Th’ Idea doth confuse and chaoize:
So will the Chaos of up-heaped sinne
Confound his braine that takes in hand to lay
A platforme plainly forth, of all that in
This Pluto-visag’d world hell doth bewray,
When death or hell doth worke it lives decay.
So perfect is our imperfectionesse
For imperfection is sinne’s perfectnesse.
Yet seeke I not to touch as he that seekes
The publike defamation of some one;
Nor have I spent my voide houres in three weekes
To shew that I am unto hatred prone;
For in particular I point at none:
Nay I am forced my lines to limit in
Within the pale of generalitie:
For should I seeke by unites to begin
To point at all that in their sinne do lie
And hunt for wickedness advisedly,
As well I then might go about to tell
The perfect number of the Ocean sands,
Or by Arithmetike goe downe to hell
And number them that lie in horror’s bands,
(Ne’re to be ransom’d from the diuell’s hands).
Who finds him touch’t may blame himself not me
And he will thanke me, doth himselfe know free.

From: Tourneur, Cyril and Collins, John Churton (ed), The Poems and Plays of Cyril Tourneur Edited with Critical Introduction and Notes by John Churton Collins in Two Volumes – Volume II, 1878, Chatto and Windus: London, pp. 175-176.

Date: 1600

By: Cyril Tourneur (1575-1626)