Ad Salsillum poetam Romanum
O Musa gressum quæ volens trahis claudum,
Vulcanioque tarda gaudes incessu,
Nec sentis illud in loco minus gratum,
Quàm cùm decentes flava Dëiope suras
Alternat aureum ante Junonis lectum. [ 5 ]
Adesdum & hæc s'is verba pauca Salsillo
Refer, camoena nostra cui tantum est cordi,
Quamque ille magnis prætulit immeritò divis.
Hæc ergo alumnus ille Londini Milto,
Diebus hisce qui suum linquens nidum [ 10 ]
Polique tractum, (pessimus ubi ventorum,
Insanientis impotensque pulmonis
Pernix anhela sub Jove exercet flabra)
Venit feraces Itali soli ad glebas,
Visum superbâ cognitas urbes famâ [ 15 ]
Virosque doctæque indolem juventutis,
Tibi optat idem hic fausta multa Salsille,
Habitumque fesso corpori penitùs sanum;
Cui nunc profunda bilis infestat renes,
Præcordiisque fixa damnosùm spirat. [ 20 ]
Nec id pepercit impia quòd tu Romano
Tam cultus ore Lesbium condis melos.
O dulce divûm munus, Osalus Hebes
Germana! Tuque Phœbe morborum terror
Pythone cæso, sive tu magis Pæan [ 25 ]
Libenter audis, hic tuns sacerdos est.
Querceta Fauni, vosque rore vinoso
Colles benigni, mitis Euandri sedes,
Siquid salubre vallibus frondet vestris,
Levamen ægro ferte certatim vati. [ 30 ]
Sic ille charis redditus rursùm Musis
Vicina dulci prata mulcebit cantu.
Ipse inter atros emirabitur Iucos
Numa, ubi beatum degit otium æternum,
Suam reclivis semper Ægeriam spectans.
Tumidusque & ipse Tibris hinc delinitus [ 35 ]
Spei favebit annuæ colonorum:
Nec in sepulchris ibit obsessum reges
Nimiùm sinistro laxus irruens loro:
Sed fræna melius temperabit undarum, [ 40 ]
Adusque curvi salsa regna Portumni.
To Salzilli, A Roman Poet, When He Was Ill
O Muse, who prefers go a halting pace, and rejoices in the limping gait of Vulcan, and thinks that not less pleasing in its place than fair Dëiopea, when in the dance her graceful feet move before the golden couch of Juno, come now, I pray, bear these few words to Salzilli, who thinks so well of my poetry that quite undeservedly he prefers it to that of the great divines. These things, therefore, Milton, a native of London, wishes you; he who lately left his own nest and that region of the sky where the worst of the winds, with raging lungs, swift and unbridled, drives the gusty blasts beneath the heavens, he who has come to the fruitful fields of Italy to see its cities, famous with proud renown, its men, and the genius of its learned youth; this same Milton wishes you, Salzilli, many favors and complete good health for your ailing body, whose reins are now infested with excessive bile, which, deep-seated, spreads disease through your vitals. The accursed bile did not spare you this for all the Lesbian strain that you elegantly pour from your Roman lips. O sweet gift of the gods! Health, Hebe's sister! And you Phoebus — or Paean if that name better suits you — the terror of diseases after the death of Python, this man is your own priest. Oak-groves of Faunus, and you hills rich with vinous dew, seats of gentle Evander, if any healing plant puts forth leaves in your valleys, let each strive to be the first to bring comfort to the sick poet. Thus restored again to his beloved Muses, he will delight the neighboring plains with sweet song. Numa himself shall wonder, where amid the dark groves he spends his blessed eternity of leisure, as he reclines with gaze forever fixed on his Egeria. Swollen Tiber himself, charmed by the song, will favor the annual hope of the husbandmen; nor will he rush on unchecked with too loose a rein on the left and overwhelm even the kings in their sepulchres; he will better control the course of his waters as far as the salt realms of curving Portumnus.