Shakespeare as Ovid?

My new weblog – ain’t it great?

I was just browsing Shakespeare’s sonnets in Latin — yes, they were published in Latin translation on the cusp of WWI, the life’s work of Alfred Thomas Barton. And of course the first thing you want to know is what he did with the sonnets you’re familiar with. The answer is — Barton triumphed again and again. Eg. the immortal Sonnet 18 —

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

Here is Barton’s version: Continue reading

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