Disbabelia (Number 19 – Year 2014)

ISBN: 978-84-8448-792-0 – Nº 19/2014
EDITA: Secretariado de Publicaciones e Intercambio Editorial

 

ORO ESPAÑOL:
TRADUCCIONES INGLESAS DE POESÍA ESPAÑOLA
DE LOS SIGLOS DIECISÉIS Y DIECISIETE

Edición bilingüe y selección de Glyn Pursglove

Political and religious tension meant that, for the most part, cultural relations between Spain and England were exceedingly difficult during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries. But some poets and writers in England continued to be attracted to the riches of Spanish literature. In some cases, such as Richard Crashaw (1613-49), who was steeped in Spanish literature, the interest is explicable both by aesthetic attraction and by his own Catholicism. Others, such as the translator Sir Richard Fanshawe (1608-66) travelled, an indeed lived, in Spain (an experience reflected in his intriguing poem ‘The Escoriall’ as well as in his translations). Others seem simply to have admired the poetry they chose to translate.

English translation of poems from Spanish was not as widespread as the translation of poems from Italian and French. Yet a significant body of work was produced, some of it of considerable quality. It is extensively sampled in this volume, in which Spanish texts are printed opposite their English ‘versions’. It includes poems by a number of major Spanish poets, such as Góngora and Quevedo, as well as by lesser (but significant) figures like Hurtado de Mendoza and Montemayor. The English translators include, in addition to Fanshawe, Sir Philip Sidney, William Drummond of Hawthornden, Thomas Shelton and Sir Aston Cokain.

 

Las tensiones políticas y religiosas provocaron que, en su mayor parte, las relaciones culturales entre España e Inglaterra fueran extraordinariamente difíciles durante los siglos dieciséis y diecisiete. Sin embargo, los poetas y los escritores de Inglaterra siguieron sintiéndose atraídos por los tesoros de la literatura española. De algunos de ellos, como por ejemplo Richard Crashaw (1613-49), que dominaba la literatura española, su interés se explica tanto por una atracción estética como por su catolicismo. Otros, como el traductor Sir Richard Fanshawe (1608-66), viajó, e incluso vivió, en España. Dicha experiencia se vio reflejada en su intrigante poema «The Escoriall» así como en sus traducciones. Otros sencillamente admiraban la poesía que eligieron traducir.

La traducción de poemas desde el español no fue tan abundante como desde el italiano o el francés. Aun así, contamos con un volumen considerable de textos traducidos, algunos de considerable calidad. En este volumen, en el cual los poemas españoles se han recogido confrontados con sus «versiones» inglesas, se puede encontrar una muestra muy significativa del trabajo realizado. Se han incluido poemas de un buen número de los grandes poetas, como es el caso de Góngora o Quevedo, así como de otras figuras menores, pero significativas, como Hurtado de Mendoza y Montemayor. Entre los traductores ingleses se encuentran, aparte de Fanshawe, Sir Philip Sidney, William Drummond of Hawthornden, Thomas Shelton y Sir Aston Cokain.


 

 

INTRODUCTION
 
The poet Thomas Carew, having read and reflected upon Ben Jonson’s ‘Ode to himself’ (which begins “Come leave the loathed stage), which was occasioned by the poor reception given to his play The New Inn in 1629, addressed to Jonson a poem under the title ‘To Ben Jonson: Upon Occasion of His Ode of Defiance Annexed to His Play of “The New Inn”’. In a remarkable (and remarkably honest) poem, Carew finds occasion to praise a particular aspect of Jonson’s achievement as a poet. Jonson, he writes, has long possessed the skill to “overcome / A knotty writer” and “bring the booty home”. He adds the injunction:
 
 
  Think it not theft if the rich spoils so torn
From conquered authors be as trophies worn. (1)
 
 
The appropriation of materials –by translation, adaptation, imitation, etc.– from foreign authors is imaged as an act of conquest, generating “spoils” and “booty” which can be brought home, which can be made sufficiently English, to have a generative impact on English literature. Most of Jonson’s “booty” was taken from Greek and Latin authors. Many of his contemporaries drew on the same resources – hence the very sizable body of translations and imitations based on the poetry of Anacreon, Martial, Horace, Ovid and others. Nor are translations and imitations from Italian poets such as Petrarch, Sannazaro, Ariosto, Tasso, Guarini, Bembo or Marion hard to find. Similarly, the work of French poets such as Desportes, Du Bellay and Du Bartas, to name but three, leaves a clear mark on the poetry of the English Renaissance. The poetry of the Spanish Golden Age has a less obviously informing presence in English poetry of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Given the long history of political and religious differences and the suspicion and antagonism that was generated by such differences, the relative paucity of translations from Spanish need not surprise us. Most of the English who had a taste for languages, or a desire to learn those languages which they deemed most likely to be of use to them generally added French and Italian, rather than Spanish, to their knowledge of Latin. But such translations do exist, and many of them are very good. When Carew writes of the English author’s dealings with foreign poets in terms of ‘booty’ and ‘spoils’ he irresistibly suggests an act of piracy on the part of the translator/imitator – an image with a peculiar appropriateness to the English appropriation of Spanish poetic materials, given the extensive record of the depredations of English pirates on Spanish treasure ships during this period. Just as the ‘gold’ of the Spanish colonies attracted English raiders so, too, did the literary output of the Spanish Golden Age. This volume samples the results, being a selection of the ‘booty’ which English poets ‘brought home’ from their reading of the Spanish poets.

There were, of course, poets for whom Catholic Spain was so hated an international presence that the question of their learning Spanish or any suggestion that they might read (let alone translate) Spanish poetry would have been abhorrent. The following (unattractive) lines by the Scottish poet George Lauder (fiercely anti-Catholic in most of what he wrote) could hardly be more antipathetic to Spain and the Spanish or more thoroughly grounded in historical prejudices:
 
 
  For all the Wishes e’re I beggd of heaven,
But one I crave may heere to mee bee given:
Which as I am a Souldier I doe wishe
But for my Countries well; and it is this:
May Heavens great King great Britain’s crownes defend,
Blesse her great CHARLES, his Armes and Realmes extend
From furthest Thule to the burning Zone,
That like his Albion may All be one.
And his victorious Lyons fill’d with blood
Of enemies, may see his Roses bud,
And Thistles rise upon the walles of Rome,
Which hee shall come and see, and overcome.
O that I may but see that happie time!
When hee shall spread into another clime
His conquering ensignes shadowing the fields,
Where forraine foes to his just furie yeelds,
Or if they dare withstand; and put their trust
In Bulwarks, till hee batter them to dust,
And ride vp o’re their Ramparts clad in steele,
With flaming sword in hand, to make them feele
The weight of his great wrath, then see them fall
For mercie at his feet, and saved all.
May I once see his brave and warlike bands
March over Spaines bare soyle and scorched sands;
Saint Andro and S. George’s Crosses spread
Before proud Sevile, or about Madrid.
While their cag’d Eagles which o’re all did soare,
Sit fast surrounded, and can flie no more:
But pearching in their towres be either tane
By force, or then by lingring famine slaine,
O with what courage could I then goe on!
To an assault, and standing on a Don
Whom mine owne hands had killed at the bresh,
Help to make havocke of the Spaniard’s flesh:
And in that noble furie durst affront,
The biggest bearded boasting Rodomont.
That euer brav’d or star’d, and if I fell,
Sure hee should haue his passe-port first to Hell.
Spaine knowes our pow’r of old, both when at home
She felt our force, and when shee once did come
With that Armada to invade our coastes,
Of whose successe but sparingly shee boastes.
How ere shee threatens, I do thinke shee feares,
But cunninglie her dread concealed beares.
And standing fast vpon her owne defence,
Will rather keepe, than seeke to conquere hence.
Would I might see our Fleet launch forth againe,
To meet her Indian gold amid the Maine:
And after a brave fight, the sea a-fire,
Blushing with blood, glut in revenging ire
Their scattered ships, when they begin to flie
But can not, wounded with our victorie:
And all the richest veshells made our prize;
To bee (return’d) receiv’d with joyfull cryes,
And welcomes of our owne, whose love and voice
Our shot should answere with a thundring noise (2)
 
 
But there were, fortunately, those who adopted wiser attitudes and who made a serious study of Spanish life and literature. Several of the translators represented in this collection – such as Ayres, Fanshawe and Shelton – spent time in Spain. The poet, historian and miscellaneous writer James Howell (c.1594-1666), whose Familiar Letters, or Epistolae Ho-Elianae (1645-1655) is a neglected minor masterpiece of English prose, was an accomplished linguist who numbered fluent Spanish amongst his languages, who visited Spain and who took a serious interest in all matters Spanish. He loves to quote Spanish proverbs and sayings: “You know what the Spaniard saith, ‘Dávidas quebrantan penas’ (Presents can rend rocks). Pearl and golden bullets may do much upon the impregnablest beauty that is”. (3) He writes with knowledge (and enthusiasm) of Spanish wines – and not merely of those that made their way to England:
 
 
  The most generous wines of Spain grow in the midland parts of the continent, and Saint Martin bears the bell, which is near the Court. Now as in Spain so in all other wine countries one cannot pass a day’s journey, but he will find a differing race of wine. Those kinds that our merchants carry over are those only that grow upon the seaside, as Malagas, Sherries, Tents and Aligants; of this last there is little comes over right, therefore the vintners make Tent (which is a name for all wines in Spain, except white) to supply the place of it. There is a gentle kind of white wine grows among the mountains of Galicia, but not of body enough to bear the sea, called Ribadavia. (4)  
 
 
He is just as interested in the languages of Spain:
 
 
  Concerning the original Language of Spain, it was, without any controversy, the Basque or Cantabrian, which tongue and territory neither Roman, Goth… or Moor could ever conquer, though they had overrun and taken firm footing in all the rest for many ages, therefore as the remnant of the old Britons here, so are the Biscayners accounted the ancientest and unquestionablest Gentry of Spain, insomuch that when any of them is to be dubbed knight, there is no need of any scrutinity to be made whether he be clear of the blood of the Moriscos, who had mingled and incorporated with the rest of the Spaniards about 700 years. (5)  
 
 
Amongst Howell’s many publications was Lexicon Tetraglotton, an English-French-Italian-Spanish Dictionary: Whereunto is adjoined a … momenclature of the proper terms (in all the four) belonging to several arts and sciences … with another volumes of Proverbs in all the said toungs, published in 1660 and bringing together works he had previously published separately. Placing Spanish in the context of other European languages clearly fascinated Howell and more than once he offers his views on such matters:
 
 
  Nor is it a worthless observation, that languages use to comply with the Humour, and to display much the inclination of the People. The French Nation is quick and spiritful, so is his pronunciation. The Spaniard is slow and grave, so is his pronunciation: for the Spanish and French languages being but branches of the Latin tree, the one may be called Latin shortened, and the other Latin drawn out at length, as corpus, tempus, caput, etc., are monosyllables in French, as corps, temps, camps, or chef; whereas the Spaniard doth add to them, as cuerpo, tiempo, cabeca; and indeed of any other the Spaniard affects long words, for he makes some thrice as long as they are in French, as of levement, a rising, he makes levantamiento; of pensée, a thought, he makes he makes pensamiento; of compliment, he makes complimiento. Besides, the Spaniard doth use to pause so in his pronunciation, that his tongue seldom foreruns his wit, and his brain may very well raise and supersede a second thought before the first be uttered. (6)  
 
 
In a book of Instructions for Forraine Travel (first published in 1642) Howell, always fond of a good and significant anecdote, tells his reader that
 
 
  There was a Spanish Doctor, who had a fancy that Spanish, Italian, and French were spoken in Paradise, that God Almighty commanded in Spanish, the Tempter perswaded in Italian, and Adam begged pardon in French. (7)  
 
 
In the same book he recommends some reading for the young traveller: “Mariana and Acosta, are the most authentique Annalists of Spaine, and Alvares for the moderne story, Lope de Vega wil give good entertainment for Verse, and Guevara for pure Prose”. (8)

Howell himself clearly translated poems from Spanish to English (and, indeed, from English to Spanish), although the remaining evidence of his work is scanty. A letter carrying the superscription “from Madrid”, addressed to ‘Captain T.P.’ and dated 1st of August 1622 includes one example of his work in the Englishing of Spanish poems, though only in prose:
 
 
  I was lately perusing some of the Spanish poets here, and lighted upon two epigrams, or epitaphs more properly, upon our Henry the Eighth, and upon his daughter Queen Elizabeth, which … I thought worth the sending you.  
 
 
  A HENRIQUE OCTAVO REY DE INGALATERRA
 
Mas de esta losa fria
          Cube Henrique tu valor
          De una muger el amor,
          Y de un error la porfia
 
Come cupo en tu grandeza,
          Dezidme enganado Ingles
          Querer una mugger a los pies,
     Ser de la yglesia cabesa?
 
 
  Prosed thus in English, for I had no
time to put it on its feet:

 
“O Henry, more than this cold pavement covers thy worth, the love of a woman and the pertinancy of error. How could it subsist with thy greatness, tell me, O cozened Englishman, to cast thyself at a woman’s feet, and yet to be head of the Church?”. That upon Queen Elizabeth was this:-
 
 
 
  DE ISABELA REYNA DA INGALATIERRA
 
Aqui yaze Isabel,
          Aqui la nueva Athalia
          Del oro Antartico harpia,
          Del mar incendio cruel:
 
Aqui el ingenio, mas diono
          De loor quæ ha tenida el suelo,
          Si para llegaral al cielo
          No hunier a errado el camino.
 
 
  “Here lies Isabel, here lies the new Athalia, the harpy of the western gold, the cruel firebrand of the sea: here lies a wit the most worthy of fame which the earth had, if to arrive to heaven she had not missed her way”. (9)  
 
 
In another letter, dated 15th March, 1626 he writes to ‘To the Lady Jane Savage, Marchioness of Westminster’ replying to one of her letters and explaining
 
 
  I here return you here enclosed the sonnet your Grace pleased to send me lately, rendered into Spanish, and fitted for the same air it had in English, both for cadence and the number of feet. (10)  
 
 
*
 
 
 
The selection of texts which follows is by no means exhaustive. Some major works of translation, such as Bartholomew Yong’s translation of Montemayor’s Diana (and of Gil Polo’s Diana Enamorada), Thomas Shelton’s Don Quixote and Sir Richard Fanshawe’s version of Antonio Hurtado de Mendoza’s Querer por solo querer are represented only by a small number of extracts. To have represented them more fully would have resulted in a book of unwieldy size. For similar reasons I have chosen not to include any passages from the unpublished translation of Diana by Sir Thomas Wilson (British Library, Add. Ms. 18638). (11)

Some other translations (and imitations) deserve at least a mention here. Parts of the Araucana of Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga were translated into English prose by George Carew (1555-1629). The manuscript is in the collection of Lambeth Palace Library (MS. 688) and had been edited by Frank Pierce. (12) Pierce’s edition helpfully analyses the many omissions and abridgements that Carew makes; he judges reasonably enough, that
 
 
  when his attention is fully engaged Carew remains faithful to Ercilla, His rendering of the Araucana can be close, careful and thoughtful and the result is often elegant English, which rises to resounding periods and finds striking and memorable equivalents for Ercilla’s own verbal skill. (13)  
 
 
Pierce suggests that Carew’s virtues are seen at their best in his representation of the moving scene of night time foreboding between Lautaro and his wife Guacolda in Canto XIII of Ecrilla’s poem:
 
 
  Lautaro… thinking him selffe secure went to his bed, wch before thatt tyme he had not done but tooke his rest by day,: Guacolda his wife or mrs, slept wth him, in whose united harts love triumphed, for ether prized other more then there Lives: Lautaro troubled in his sleep wth a fearfull dreame, started, wherewth guacolda wakinge, tremblinge for feare, demanded the Cause of his startinge: Love (sayed he) I dreamt that a prowd Spaniard assaulted me wth his drawne sword, and my valour was to weake to wthstand him, wherewth surprised wth feare I started: How sayed she I Conclude the End of your dayes, and the beginning of my sorrow, for I dreamt the same, and beinge affrighted, wakt att the instant when you did, but I will nott live to overlive my love: Be nott troubled replied Lautaro wth ydle dreames, and bedewinge his cheeks wth amorous teares, itt is you (sayed he) that in pleasing hands holds me in thraldome, you onelye have power over my Life, and nott the force of any mortall hand; by my valour I have restored Arauco to his libertie, wth this arme I have tamed the prowde Spaniard who was held invincible, and yf in former tymes my Couradge hathe never fayled me, that vertew is redoubled when you are neere me, I am I hope reserved for better fortunes, and I dowbt nott, but so se many dayes of tryumphe and honnour to Eternize my fame, and therefore deare love Lett nott dreames afflict you: But she passionatlie weepinge Could receve no Compfort and besought him att her humble sute to provide for his saftie, and man the walles of his fort, for sayed she my hart misgeves that you are in perill: Now I perceive sayed he the slender estimation you hold of Lautaros Valour, that hathe wth suche proofe (for his Countriez good) manifested so many testimonies of his Couradge, otherwise you leave your teares and nott mourne ever as yf I were dead: Guacolda passionatlye Compfortlesse, wth floodes of teares, Cried out, I dowbt nott of your invincible Couradge, but yf you be oppressed wth resistlesse force whatt avayles your valour, my Love to you imprints in my hart the impression of my Conceved feares, the Compfort wch I receve, is in the hope, I retayne, in perishinge under that sword thatt shall End your Life: Since this is the destinie (wch my genius presages) that we must undergoe, I beseeche you to geve me Leave to bewayle our misfortunes, to have the threed of our Compforts so untymelye Cut: More she would have sayed, but in obedience to him was silent. (14)  
 
 
It is to be regretted that Carew did not complete his interesting translation of Ercilla’s poem – perhaps the first into any other language.

Imitation and adaptation of various kinds – which can be illustrated only very cursorily here – demonstrate the strong undercurrent of interest in Spanish poetry. So, for example, a number of the poems of Barnabe Googe (1540-1594) are loose translations/imitations of poems from Montemayor’s Diana, printed with no acknowledgement of their sources. (15) A single example must suffice here. Googe’s ‘To the Tune of Apelles’ (a tune not certainly identified) is a version of the song ‘Cansado está de oirme el claro río’, from Book II of Diana:
 
 
  The rushing rivers that do run,
The valleys sweet, adorned new,
That leans their sides against the sun,
With flowers fresh of sundry hue,
Both ash and elm, and oak so high,
Do all lament my woeful cry

While winter black, with hideous storms
Doth spoil the ground of summer’s green,
While springtime sweet the leaf returns
That late on tree could not be seen,
While summer burns, while harvest reigns,
Still, still, do rage my restless pains.

No end I find in all my smart,
But endless torment I sustain
Since first, alas, my woeful heart
By sight of thee was forced to plain.
Since that I lost my liberty,
Since that thou mad’st a slave of me,

My heart that once abroad was free,
Thy beauty hath in durance brought.
Once reason ruled and guided me,
And now is wit consumed with thought;
Once I rejoiced above the sky,
And now for thee, alas, I die;

Once I rejoiced in company,
And now my chief and whole delight
Is from my friends away to fly
And keep alone my wearied sprite:
Thy face divine and my desire
From flesh hath me transformed to fire.

O Nature, thou that first did frame
My lady’s hair of purest gold,
Her face of crystal to the same,
Her lips of precious ruby’s mould,
Her neck of alabaster white,
Surmounting far each other wight,

Why didst thou not that time devise?
Why dist thou not foresee before
The mischief that thereof doth rise,
And grief on grief doth heap with store,
To make her heart of wax alone,
And not of flint and marble stone?

O lady, show thy favour yet,
Let not thy servant die for thee;
Where rigour ruled, let mercy sit;
Let pity conquer cruelty.
Let not disdain, a fiend of hell,
Possess the place where grace should dwell. (16)
 
 
Comparison with the original confirms Kennedy’s analysis:
 
 
  At times [Googe] translates fairly closely, but in general he is recasting and even rearranging Montemayor’s ideas. Googe’s first two stanzas are drawn from Montemayor’s first; his third, fourth, and fifth are loosely based on ideas drawn from Montemayor’s second and third; his sixth and seventh are almost a translation of Montemayor’s fourth, except that Googe has substituted ‘Nature’ for the unspecified creative force questioned by Montemayor, and has introduced the notion of a provident being. Googe’s last stanza is different in application from Montemayor’s, being a confident plea for mercy rather than a despairing complaint against cruelty, but his phrasing is reminiscent of Montemayor’s. (17)  
 
 
Thomas Stanley, to take another instance, makes what is effectively his own much shorter poem from Belisarda’s lengthy song in Book I of Lope de Vega’s Arcadia (“O burlas de amor ingrato’):
 
 
  To set my jealous Soul at strife
          All things maliciously agree,
          Though sleep of Death the Image be,
Dreams are the Portaiture of Life.

I saw, when last I clos’d my Eyes,
          Celinda stoop t’anothers Will;
          If specious Apprehension kill,
What would the truth without disguise?

The joyes which I should call mine own
          Me thought this Rival did possesse:
          Like Dreams is all my happinesse;
Yet Dreams themselves allow me none. (18)
 
 
Elsewhere Stanley creates a relatively free version of a passage from Montalvan’s play El Señor don Juan de Austria. (19)

Sometimes a Spanish original is given a specific application in an English context. Walter Aston, Baron Aston of Forfar (1548-1639) was initially Joint-Ambassador and then sole Ambassador to Spain between 1619 and 1624 and between 1635 and 1638. His command of Castilian was highly regarded and it is no surprise that amongst the poems by him preserved in the miscellaneous papers discovered at his country house of Tixall (in Staffordshire), and edited by Arthur Clifford, there should be an adaptation of Gongora’s poem ‘En la muerte de Doña Guiomar de Sá, mujer de Juan Fernanández de Espinosa’ (of which a translation by Sir Richard Fanshawe, a diplomatic colleague of Aston’s, is included later in this volume), applied to a specific and personal subject:
 
 
ON THE DEATH OF
MRS P—’S LITTLE DAUGHTER,
IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SPRING, AT AMSTERDAM
 
 
Say not, because no more you see
I’th’ fair armes of her mother tree
This infant bloome, the wind or time
Hath nippt the flow’r before the prime;
          Or what ere Autumn promis’d to make good
          In early fruit is witherd i’th’budd:

Buy, as when roses breath away
Their sweet consenting soules, none say
The still deflowers those virgin leaves
But them extracts, exalts, receaves;
          Even so hath Heaven’s almighty Chymike
          Drawn this pure spirit to its proper spheare.

          Sad parents then recall your greefes:
          Your little one now truly lives,
          Your pretty messenger of Love,
          Your new intelligence above;
Since God created such immortal flowers
To grow in his owne Paradice, not ours. (20)
 
 
*
 
 
 
Discussion of the wider questions concerning the literary relations between England and Spain in this period cannot be undertaken here. One particular case has been studied and documented extensively – that of Cervantes. The splendid work of Dale J. B. Randall and Jackson C. Boswell has given us a fascinating compendium of English reactions to Cervantes. (21) Beyond translation, imitation and allusion there are engaging occasions on which English poets have been so far fascinated by Cervantes’s creations as to make them the imaginative starting point for poems of their own. So, for example, Sir Aston Cokain writes a poem addressed to Don Quixote’s beloved:
 
 
To Dulcinea
 
Dulcinea (it seems) bears me a grutch
Cause of my Love to her I talk so much.
To love, and have no vent at all, would break
An heart, therefore give Lovers leave to speak.
But be appeas’d (fair Maid) for I’le be sworn
I love thee virtuous, vicious O thee should scorn. (22)
 
 
Another instance which goes beyond mere allusion occurs in A Ballad on the Gyants in the Physick Garden in Oxford (1662) possibly by Edmund Gayton (1608-1666), author of the delightfully eccentric Pleasant Notes upon Don Quixot (1654). The yew trees of the garden are ironically celebrated:
 
 
  What would you more than Gyants high
Forbeare yee to approach too nigh,
You’l fright the Lady Dulciny
TOBOSO.
 

And yet that Lady hath a Knight
That wil drink wine when he should fight
And Sancho loves with all his might
To doe so.
 
To all adventures dangerous,
As the Mill nigh can tell to us
The Knight will sometimes fiercely rush
And’ Man sterne.
 
Theres no avoiding of that Knight,
Errant yclept, for day and night
He comes these Gyants to affright
With Lanthorne.
 
Not Faux-like on a black designe
To mirth he only doth incline
And hath a Page, if no Moon shine,
Attending.
 
Fir hee’l nor carry coales nor light
Nor yet his Squire, who goes upright
But yet they are for any wight
Defending
 
Or injur’s Lady, or Fleec’d sheepe
Good lack what Racket they doe keep
And never Eat, nod Drink, nor Sleepe
Till Gyant,
 
And one-eyd Monsters humbled are
Unto their feet, which smell most rare,
With making constant Fewd, and warre
o Fie on’t!
 
What though these Gyants harnest be
Completely too, That’s Cap a Pe,
And can with Feet deal lustily
In boxes.
 
Yet Don Quixot is arm’d also
With brassie helmet of Mambrino
Hee’l suffer them no harme to do
To’s doxes:
 
So that tis prudence to induce
The Knight and Giants to a Truce,
That we the Gardens still may use
In quiet,
 
And drink what springs from Scurvy gras
(Without making a scurvy face,)
So shall we keep this pleasant place
From Riot. (23)
 
 
 
Such poems illustrate with some force how the “booty” which English readers and translators of Spanish texts brought “home”, nourished the imagination of English poets. Though translation and imitation may be, as Carew suggests, acts which involve the overcoming’ of foreign authors, may resemble the spoils of war, the booty of piracy, yet they also constitute acts of tribute and, ironically, of respect. They acknowledge that there are things the native tradition needs to learn, seeds and nutrients it requires if it is to renew itself and continue to grow. The English writers represented in what follows had identified Spanish poets and poems which had, presumably, given them pleasure as readers and which they judged to be of potential interest and value to those unable fully to appreciate them in their original Spanish. It is on the same principles that this anthology has been put together.
 
 
 
 


NOTAS:

  1. Quoted from The Oxford Book of Seventeeth Century Verse, ed. Alastair Fowler, Oxford, 1991, p. 341.
  2. ‘The Souldiers Wishe’, Various pieces of fugitive Scotish poetry; principally of the seventeeth century. Second series, Edinburgh, 1853. Text from Literature Online 184:2.
  3. Familiar Letters, or Epistolae Ho-Elianae, ed. O. J. Smeaton, London, 1902, II, 106.
  4. Ibid., III, 198.
  5. Ibid., III, 220.
  6. Ibid., III, 220.
  7. Instructions for Forell Travell, ed. Edward Arber, 1869, 39.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Familiar Letters, or Epistolae Ho-Elianae, ed. O.J. Smeaton, London, 1902, II, 249-50.
  10. Ibid., I, 259.
  11. See D. M. Anderson, ‘Sir Thomas Wilson’s Translation of Montemayor’s Diana’, Review of English Studies, N. S. 7, 1956, 176-81.
  12. The Historie of Araucana written in verse by Don Alonso de Ercilla translated out of the spanishe into Englishe prose almost to the Ende of the 16: Canto, Manchester, 1964.
  13. Ibid., xiv.
  14. Ibid., 45-6.
  15. See Barnabe Googe, Eclogues, Epitaphs, and Sonnets, ed. Judith M. Kennedy, Toronto, 1989.
  16. Ibid., 103-4.
  17. Ibid., 180-81.
  18. The Poems and Translations of Thomas Stanley, ed. Galbraith Miller Crump, Oxford, 1962, 35-6.
  19. For this and other examples, see E. M. Wilson and E. R. Vincent, ‘Thomas Stanley’s Translations and Borrowings from Spanish and Italian Poems’, Revue de Littérature Comparée, 32, 1958, 548-56.
  20. Tixall Poetry, ed. Arthur Clifford, Edinburgh, 1813, 6-7.
  21. Cervantes in Seventeenth-Century England: The Tapestry Turned, Oxford, 2009.
  22. Small Poems of Divers Sorts, 1658, 197.
  23. The Pack of Autolycus Or Strange and Terrible News of Ghosts, Apparitions, Monstrous Births, Showers of Wheat, Judgements of God, and other Prodigious and fearful Happenings as told in Broadside Ballads of the Years 1624-1693, ed. Hyder Edward Rollins, Cambridge (Mass), 1937, 112-3.
 
 
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