Joannis Miltoni
LONDINIENSIS
P O E M A T A
Quorum pleraque intra
Annum ætatis Vigesimum Conscripit

Hæ quæ sequuntur de Authore testimonia, tametsi ipse intelligebat non tam de se quàm supra se esse dicta, eò quòd preclaro ingenio viri, nec non amici ita sere solent laudare, ut omnia suis potius virtutitbus, quàm veritari congruentia nimis cupidè affingant, noluit tamen horum egregiam in se voluntatem non esse notam; Cum alii præfertim ut id faceret magnopere suaderent. Dum enim nimiæ laudis invidiam totis ab se viribus amolitur, sibique quod plus æquo est non attributum esse mavult, judicium interim hominum cordatorum atque illustrium quin summo sibi honori ducat, negare non potest.


Joannes Baptista Mansus, Marchio
Villensis Neapolitanus ad Joannem
Miltonium Anglum.

Ut mens, forma, decor, facies, mos, si pietas sic,
Non Anglus, verùm herclè Angelus ipse fores.


Ad Joannem Miltonem Anglum triplici
poeseos laureâ coronandum Græcâ nimirum,
Latinâ, atque Hetruscâ, Epigramma
Joannis Salsilli Romani.

Cede Meles, cedat depressa Mincius urna;
Sebetus Tassum desinat usque loqui;
At Thamesis victor cunctis serat altior undas
Nam per te Milto par tribus unus erit.


Ad Joannem Miltonum.

Græcia Mæonidem, jactet sibi Roma Maronem,
Anglia Miltonum jactat utrique parem.
Selvaggi.


Al Signor Gio. Miltoni Nobile
Inglese.
ODE.

Ergimi all'Etra ò Clio
Perche di stelle intreccierò corona
Non più del Biondo Dio
La Fronde eterna in Pindo, e in Elicona,
Diensi a merto maggior, maggiori i fregi, [ 5 ]
A'celeste virtù celesti pregi.


Non puo del tempo edace
Rimaner preda, eterno alto valore
Non può l'oblio rapace
Furar delle memorie eccelso onore, [ 10 ]
Su l'arco di mia cetra un dardo forte
Virtù m'adatti, e ferirò la morte.


Del Ocean profondo
Cinta dagli ampi gorghi Anglia risiede
Separata dal mondo, [ 15 ]
Però che il suo valor l'umano eccede:
Questa seconda sà produrre Eroi,
Ch' hanno a ragion del sovruman tra noi.


Alla virtù sbandita
Danno ne i petti lor fido ricetto, [ 20 ]
Quella gli è sol gradita,
Perche in lei san trovar gioia, e diletto;
Ridillo tu Giovanni e mostra in tanto
Con tua vera virtù, vero il mio Canto.


Lungi dal Patrio lido [ 25 ]
Spinse Zeusi l'industre ardente brama;
Ch'udio d'Helena il grido
Con aurea tromba rimbombar la fama,
E per poterla effigiare al paro
Dalle più belle Idee trasse il priù raro. [ 30 ]


Cosi l' Ape Ingegnosa
Trae con industria il suo liquor pregiato
Dal giglio dalla rosa,
E quanti vaghi fiori ornano il prato;
Formano un dolce suon diverse Chorde, [ 35 ]
Fan varie voci melodia concorde.


Di bella gloria amante
Milton dal Ciel natío per varie parti
Le peregrine piante
Volgesti a ricercar scienze, ed arti; [ 40 ]
Del Gallo regnator vedesti i Regni,
E dell' Italia ancor gl'Eroi piu degni.


Fabro quasi divino
Sol virtù rintracciando il tuo pensiero
Vide in ogni confino [ 45 ]
Chi di nobil valor calca il sentiero;
L' ottimo dal miglior dopo scegliea
Per fabbricar d'ogni virtu l'Idea.


Quanti nacquero in Flora
O in lei del parlar Tosco appreser l'arte, [ 50 ]
La cui memoria onora
Il mondo fatta eterna in dotte carte,
Volesti ricercar per tuo tesoro,
E parlasti con lor nell' opre loro.


Nell' altera Babelle [ 55 ]
Per te il parlar confuse Giove in vano,
Che per varie favelle
Di se stessa trofeo cadde su'l piano:
Ch' Ode oltr' all Anglia il suo piu degno Idioma
Spagna, Francia, Toscana, e Grecia e Roma. [ 60 ]


I piu profondi arcani
Ch' occulta la natura e in cielo e in terra
Ch'a' Ingegni sovrumani
Troppo avara tal' hor gli chiude, e serra,
Chiaramente conosci, e giungi al fine [ 65 ]
Della moral virtude al gran confine.


Non batta il Tempo l'ale,
Fermisi immoto, e in un fermin si gl'anni,
Che di virtù immortale
Scorron di troppo ingiuriosi a i danni; [ 70 ]
Che s'opre degne di Poema e storia
Furon gia, l'hai presenti alla memoria.


Dammi tua dolce Cetra
Se vuoi ch'io dica del tuo dolce canto,
Ch' inalzandoti all' Etra [ 75 ]
Di farti huomo celeste ottiene il vanto,
Il Tamigi il dirà che gl' è concesso
Per te suo cigno pareggiar Permesso.


Io che in riva del Arno
Tento spiegar tuo merto alto, e precalro [ 80 ]
So che fatico indarno,
E ad ammirar, non a lodarlo imparo;
Freno dunque la lingua, e ascolto il core
Che ti prende a lodar con lo stupore.
Del sig. Antonio Francini gentilhuomo Fiorentino.


JOANNI MILTONI
LONDINIENSI.


Juveni Patria, virtutibus eximio,

Viro qui multa peregrinatione, studio cuncta orbis terrararum loca perplexit, ut novus Ulysses omnia ubique ab omnibus apprehenderet.

Polyglotto, in cujus ore linguæ jam deperditæ sic reviviscunt, ut idiomata omnia sint in ejus laudibus infacunda; Et jure ea percallet ut admirationes & plausus populorum ab propria sapientia excitatos, intelligat.

Illi, cujus animi dotes corporisque, sensu ad admirationem commovent, & per ipsam motum cuique auferunt; cujus opera ad plausus hortantur, sed vastitate vocem laudatoribus adimunt.

Cui in Memoria totus Orbis: In intellectu Sapientia. in voluntate ardor gloriæ. in ore Eloquentia: Harmoni cos celestium Sphærarum sonitus Astronomia Duce audienti, Characteres mirabilium naturæ per quos Dei magnitudo describitur magistra Philosophia legenti; Antiquitatum latebras, vetustatis excidia, eruditionis ambages comite assidua autorum Lectione.

Exquirenti, restauranti, percurrenti.
At cur nitor in arduum?

Illi in cujus virtutibus evulgandis ora Famæ non sufficiant, nec hominum stupor in laudandis satis est, Reverentiæ & amoris ergo hoc ejus meritis debitum admirationis tributum offert Carolus Datus Patricius Florentinus.

Tanto homini servus, tantæ virtutis amator.

John Milton
OF LONDON

POEMS

Most of Them Written Before
the Age of Twenty

Now Published for the First Time

LONDON
Printed by R. R. Sold at the Prince's Arms,
in S. Paul's Churchyard, by Humphrey Moseley
1645

Here follow testimonials of respect for the Author, testimonials he knew full well were spoken not so much about him as over him, because men of the most excellent genius, besides being his friends, are accustomed to speak praise in such a way as to ascribe to him all the virtues fitting to themselves, rather than the truth; nevertheless the author was unwilling that the goodwill towards him felt by the writers of these testimonials should remain unknown, especially since there are those who very earnestly urged him to make them known. For while he still seeks to avoid the bad taste occasioned by excessive praise, and prefers not to enjoy more credit than is his due, he cannot, meanwhile, deny that he regards it as the highest honor to himslef to enjoy the favorable judgment of such distinguished intellects.


John Baptista Manso, Marquis
of Villa, of Naples, to John
Milton, Englishman

If your piety were such as your intellect, your figure, grace, charm, condition, and manners, you would be not an Angle but a true Angel.


An Epigram by Giovanni Salsilli, a Roman
on John Milton, Englishman, who deserves a
crown fashioned of the triple laurel of
poesy — Greek, Latin, and Italian

Yield, Meles! Mincius, too, lowering his urn, yields. Let Sebetus cease to have Tasso always on his tongue; but let the victor Thames flow on with greater waves than those of every other, for because of you, Milton, he will be the best of the three.


Selvaggi to John Milton

Let Greece boast, if she must, of Mæonia's son, let Rome boast to herself of Maro. England holds forth Milton, in himself a match for the the other two put together.


To Mr. John Milton, Gentleman
of England
ODE

Lift me to Heaven, O Clio, so that I can fashion a crown from the stars. Here on Pindus and on Helicon do not exist the eternal leaves of the fair-haired Apollo. For greatest merit the greatest is prize due, for heavenly virtue, heavenly rewards.


Time cannot erase eternal merit. Rapacious oblivion cannot steal the memory of ever youthful glory. If virtue knocks a worthy arrow to the bow of my lyre, I will strike Death dead.


Surrounded by the vast eddies of the deep Ocean sits England, cut off from the world, because her human valor exceeds all others: her fertile womb produces heroes whom with reason we name as more than men.


In their hearts Virtue, banished elesewhere, finds secure rest, beloved of them alone because in her they find joy and pleasure. This will you make known again, O Giovanni; with your true virtue goes my true song.


Far from the shores of his fatherland, Zeuxis carried his ardent zeal; for he heard of Helen's glory from Fame's golden horn; and in order to fashion her likeness he sought the rarest among the most beautiful Ideas.


The Clever Bee laboriously extracts his precious liquor from the lily and the rose, and from all the lovely flowers that adorn the meadow; thus does sweet music flow from varied strings, concordant melody from various voices.


Enamored of beautiful glory, you turned your wandering feet, O Milton, from your native skies to other parts, in quest of knowledge and the arts. You saw the realms of conquering Gaul, and you met the most worthy heroes of Italy.


Writer half-divine, your thought, emulating virtue in itself, sought out in your travels the truly noble beings; among the best of the better sort, you chose to construct an Idea that included all the virtues.


How many in Florence, whether her own sons or those who have learned to master the Tuscan dialect, whose honored memory, immortalized in learned pages, you treasure up in yourself, communing with them in their works.


In vain did Jove confuse the languages in the exalted Tower of Babel, and so fell, self-vanquished, to the plain: for from your lips not only England, but Spain, France, Tuscany, Greece, Rome, hear each her most dignified speech.


The deepest secrets which Nature hides in Heaven or on Earth, too often covetously concealing them to superhuman minds, you have fully mastered, to reach at last the great boundaries of moral wisdom.


Let Time cease beating his wings, may he arrest his flight. Those years which pass, most discourteously, and to the harm of immortal virtue, should halt; you have within your memory every worthwhile poem or history ever written.


But if I must sing of your sweet song, which exalts you to the skies and so proves your powers of divination, then I must have your lyre; through you, its swan, may Thames proclaim equality with Permessus.


Vainly do I, on the bank of the Arno, try to describe your great and shining merits; for I admire you more than I have power to praise you; I must control my tongue and listen to my heart which, stupified, sings your praise.


By Antonio Francini, Esquire, Gentleman of Florence


TO JOHN MILTON
OF LONDON

A young man distinguished by the land of his
birth and by his personal merits


To a man who, by his journeys to foreign lands, has viewed many lands with care, by his studies has viewed every place the wide world over, so that, like a modern Ulysses, he may gather from every people, everywhere, all that each has to offer.

  To a polyglot, master of many tongues, on whose lips languages once wholly dead live again with such vigor and might that every speech, when it is employed to praise him, loses its power of utterance — he is, himself, thorough master of them all, so that he understands the expressions of admiration and approval called forth from the peoples by his singualr wisdom.

  To a man whose endowments of mind and body move the senses to admiration, and yet through that very admiration rob every man of power to move, whose masterpieces urge all men to applause, yet by their grace, their charm, rob of voice all who mean to applaud.

  To a man in whose memory the whole wide world is lodged, in whose intellect is wisdom, in whose affections is an ardent passion for glory, in whose mouth is eloquence, who, with astronomy as his guide, hears the harmonious strains of the heavenly spheres, with philosophy as his teacher reads and interprets the true meaning of those marvels of nature by which the greatness of God is portrayed, who, with incessant reading of these authors as his companion, probes the hidden mysteries of bygone days, restores what the lapse of the ages has laid low, and traverses the intricacies of learning.

Seeking, restoring, researching. Why do I undertake this arduous task?

  To him, in the publishing of whose merits the tongues of Rumor herself would prove too few, whose merits are not eulogized as they deserve even by the spellbound admiration of the world, to him, by way of reverence and affection, this tribute of admiration, the just reward of his merits, is offered by Charles Dati, a Patrician of Florence.

Offered to this great man by his humble servant, passionate lover of such outstanding merit.