Seeing many people in this present age writing
words without measure which flow forth easily,
and expending a great deal of time on their efforts
for which no reward awaits – or only empty chatter;
anyway, seeing them writing all too arrogantly
and realising that all of it is full of worthless matter
like the sand of the seas or swarms of Egyptian flies,
I gave them this single piece of advice, the best of all:
throwing away every word, they should
cling only to the divinely inspired ones,
as those who flee the storm seek the harbour's calm.
For if the Scriptures accord so many great opportunities,
this, O Spirit, is the one that seems most sensible to you,
namely that this should be a defence against all
empty talk on the part of those with evil motives.
When you write, do you, my friend, bring indisputable
arguments to your thoughts that belong to this lower world?
Since this is completely impossible,
now the world has broken up into so many separate parts
and everyone has supporting arguments like these
as a basis for their own escape,
I have taken another path in my writing and this is it,
(a good way, I think, but if not, dear to me at least):
to put something of my own struggles into verse. […]