- be a poet
- be master of both the language of the original and one's own
- understand the characteristics that individuate the original author
- conform one's own genius to that of the original
- keep the sense "sacred and inviolable" and be literal where gracefulness can be maintained.
- make the author appear as "charming" as possible without violating the author's real character
- be attentive to the verse qualities of both the original and the translated poem
- make the author speak the contemporary target language that they would have spoken
- not improve the original
- not follow the original so closely that the spirit is lost.
Moreover, Dryden classified translation into three categories: metaphrase (literal translation), paraphrase (translation with some latitudes), and imitation (entirely free translation). He advocated that paraphrasing was the ideal method of retaining the source text's entire meaning, without making the target text cumbersome. Alexander Pope, another translator who wrote in the same era, situated 'correct' translation between Dryden's metaphrase and paraphrase:
It is certain no literal Translation can be just to an excellent Original in a superior Language: but it is a great Mistake to imagine (as many have done) that a rash Paraphrase can make amends for this general Defect; which is no less in danger to lose the Spirit of an Ancient, by deviating into the Modern Manners of Expression.
Both Dryden and Pope agree, therefore, that the message of the source text is the sacred focal point in the translation process.