While Milton is recognized as one of the most learned English poets in history, his Latin poetry is less well known. Slavitt’s careful rendering brings Milton’s Latin poems—many written in his late teens—into the present. He keeps true to the style of the originals, showing Milton’s maturing poetic voice and the freedom he found working in Latin.
On the Gunpowder Plot
O, sly Guy Fawkes, you plotted against your king
and the British lords, but did you intend to be kind
and make up for your malice in this thing
with at least a show of piety? Do we find
an intention, perhaps, of sending the members of court
up to the sky in a chariot made of fire
the way Elijah traveled. Or do I distort
the simple wickedness of your desire?
Featuring an introduction by Gordon Teskey, this comprehensive English-language collection of Milton’s Latin poems pays due respect to a master. Poetry lovers, Milton fans, and scholars of either will welcome, enjoy, and learn from this work.