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28 Pages

Satire and gender

WithJohn T. Gilmore

A short poem by the Welsh writer of Latin epigrams, John Owen (1563/4–1622?), is, in a number of ways, typical of a theme which is all too prominent in the history of satire:

Divitias Iobo, sobolemque, ipsamque salutem

Abstulit (hoc Domino non prohibente) Satan.

Omnibus ablatis misero, tamen una superstes,

Quae magis afflictum redderet, uxor erat.

[Owen, 1633, 69]

[Since God forbade not, Satan Job bereav’d

Of wealth, of health, of eke his children’s life.

With all else lost, the wretch still more was griev’d

That one thing yet remain’d to him – his wife.]