Milton as a Translator of Poetry
Milton's translational performances are, like his attitudes towards translation, changing, personal, experimental, sometimes passionate. More than half of his eighteen verse translations from Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Italian (given in a checklist) are passages of poetry quoted in his prose works. These fragmentary translations rub shoulders with Horace's ode I v (‘Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa’); with versions of various psalms, which may be linked to his plans for an epic; and his Homeric Greek translation of psalm 114, the liveliest and most interesting of his experiments. All reveal his mental and imaginative life during the difficulties of his marriage and early blindness.