John Hoole

British translator

John Hoole (2 December 17272 August 1803) was an English translator.

My endeavour has been to render the sense of my author as nearly as possible, which could never be done merely by translating his words.


  • My endeavour has been to render the sense of my author as nearly as possible, which could never be done merely by translating his words.


  • The spotless maid is like the blooming rose
    Which on its native stem unsullied grows;
    Where fencing walls the garden-space surround,
    Nor swains, nor browsing cattle tread the ground.
    But if some hand the tender stalk invades,
    Lost is its beauty, and its colour fades:
    No more the care of heaven, or garden's boast,
    And all its praise with youths and maidens lost.
    • Book I, line 300
  • Love what we see can from our sight remove,
    And things invisible are seen by Love.
    • Book I, line 396
  • Ah! why so rare does cruel Love inspire
    Two tender bosoms with a mutual fire?
    Say, whence, perfidious, dost thou pleasure find
    To sow dissension in the human mind?
    • Book II, line 1
  • What has that wretched damsel left to boast,
    What good on earth, whose virtuous praise is lost?
    • Book VIII, line 285
  • So from a water clear, the trembling light
    Of Phoebus, or the silver queen of night,
    Along the spacious rooms with splendour plays,
    Now high, now low, and shifts a thousand ways.
    • Book VIII, line 490
  • The youth, who pants to gain the amorous prize,
    Forgets that Heaven with all-discerning eyes
    Surveys the secret heart; and when desire
    Has, in possession, quenched its short-lived fire,
    The devious winds aside each promise bear,
    And scatter all his solemn vows in air!
    • Book X, line 24
  • Reflect, ye gentle dames, that much they know,
    Who gain experience from another's woe.
    • Book X, line 32
  • What more our folly shows,
    Than while we others seek, ourselves to lose?
    • Book XXIV, line 7
  • In blaming others, fools their folly show,
    And most attempt to speak when least they know.
    • Book XXVIII, line 7
  • For oft the grace
    Of costly vest improves a beauteous face.
    • Book XXVIII, line 82
  • Of all the sex this certain truth is known,
    No woman yet was ever content with one.
    • Book XXVIII, line 370
  • To others never do
    That which yourselves would wish undone to you.
    • Book XXVIII, line 591
  • Behold the state of man's unstable mind,
    Still prone to change with every changing wind!
    All our resolves are weak, but weakest prove
    Where sprung from sense of disappointed love.
    • Book XXIX, line 1
  • Never let us utter what we never can know,
    And chiefly when it works another's woe.
    • Book XXXII, line 753
  • But such their power who rule with tyrant sway,
    Whom most they loath the people most obey.
    • Book XXXVII, line 774
  • When Fame, O monarch! good or evil tells,
    Evil or good beyond the truth she swells.
    • Book XXXVIII, line 327
  • And Neptune's white herds low above the wave.
    • Book XLI, line 66
  • These friendly words awhile consoled the fair;
    For grief imparted oft alleviates care.
    • Book XLII, line 202
  • Not beauty, wealth, or lineage e'er could raise
    A woman's name (he said) to height of praise,
    If not in action chaste.
    • Book XLIII, line 628
  • When highest placed on giddy Fortune's wheel,
    Unhappy man must soon expect to feel
    A sad reverse, and in the changing round
    With rapid whirl as sudden touch the ground.
    • Book XLV, line 1

Dramas and Other Poems of Metastasio (1800)

  • The toils of honour dignify repose.
    • "Achilles in Scyros", Act III, last scene
  • 'Tis often constancy to change the mind.
    • "Siroes", Act I, scene viii
  • For while the treason I detest,
    The traitor still I love.
    • "Romulus and Hersilia", Act I, scene v

Quotes about Hoole

  • A noble transmuter of gold into lead. [...] He did exactly so many couplets day by day, neither more nor less; and habit had made it light to him, however heavy it might seem to the reader.
    • Walter Scott, diary entry (June 4, 1826), in John Gibson Lockhart's Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (1837), p. 317
  •   Encyclopedic article on John Hoole on Wikipedia