C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 11: Commentary; Jonson's Literary Record; Supplementary Notes; Index
The edition to which Jonson's lines were prefixed was entered on the Stationers' Register on 12 March 1627, and dedicated to William, Earl of Devonshire; 'H. V.' and I. Vaughan also contributed commendatory verse.
May (1595–1650) as a translator would appeal to Jonson; besides the Lucan, a rendering of the Georgics appeared in 1628, Selected Epigrams of Martial, and the verse portion of Barclay's Argenis in 1629. Later May turned Parliamentarian, it is said through pique because Davenant was appointed Poet Laureate at Jonson's death. In Marvell's satire Tom May's Death Jonson is introduced as upbraiding him with his apostasy.
1. mighty paire, Caesar and Pompey.
7. peiz'd, balanced.
11. start, swerve.
17. Hermes, appropriately introduced in reference to the rhetorical style of Lucan.
24. Sonne of May. A punning reference to Mercury, the son of Maia.