Love And War Poem by Ovid

Love And War

Rating: 3.1


Lovers all are soldiers, and Cupid has his campaigns:
I tell you, Atticus, lovers all are soldiers.
Youth is fit for war, and also fit for Venus.
Imagine an aged soldier, an elderly lover!
A general looks for spirit in his brave soldiery;
a pretty girl wants spirit in her companions.
Both stay up all night long, and each sleeps on the ground;
one guards his mistress's doorway, one his general's.
The soldier's lot requires far journeys; send his girl,
the zealous lover will follow her anywhere.
He'll cross the glowering mountains, the rivers swollen with storm;
he'll tread a pathway through the heaped-up snows;
and never whine of raging Eurus when he sets sail
or wait for stars propitious for his voyage.
Who but lovers and soldiers endure the chill of night,
and blizzards interspersed with driving rain?
The soldier reconnoiters among the dangerous foe;
the lover spies to learn his rival's plans.
Soldiers besiege strong cities; lovers, a harsh girl's home;
one storms town gates, the other storms house doors.
It's clever strategy to raid a sleeping foe
and slay an unarmed host by force of arms.
(That's how the troops of Thracian Rhesus met their doom,
and you, O captive steeds, forsook your master.)
Well, lovers take advantage of husbands when they sleep,
launching surprise attacks while the enemy snores.
To slip through bands of guards and watchful sentinels
is always the soldier's mission - and the lover's.
Mars wavers; Venus flutters: the conquered rise again,
and those you'd think could never fall, lie low.
So those who like to say that love is indolent
should stop: Love is the soul of enterprise.
Sad Achilles burns for Briseis, his lost darling:
Trojans, smash the Greeks' power while you may!
From Andromache's embrace Hector went to war;
his own wife set the helmet on his head;
and High King Agamemnon, looking on Priam's child,
was stunned (they say) by the Maenad's flowing hair.
And Mars himself was trapped in The Artificer's bonds:
no tale was more notorious in heaven.
I too was once an idler, born for careless ease;
my shady couch had made my spirit soft.
But care for a lovely girl aroused me from my sloth
and bid me to enlist in her campaign.
So now you see me forceful, in combat all night long.
If you want a life of action, fall in love.

- translated from the Latin by Jon Corelis

Love And War
COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Joel Drown 12 June 2017

dear ovid, my name is joel drown your poem is very powerful its amazing how close together the topics of lave and war an become and how you descrided the numbness that can come from a war and a deep love thank you for your time and your service

9 7 Reply
Alexander 04 June 2022

Ovid has been dead a long, long time.

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John S 21 March 2017

All is fair in love and war win the battle, settle the score Cupid carries out his clever campaign fight with chocolate hearts and aged champagne Melodious music, the best poetry I know will capture your heart, and vanquish my foe without you my love, my life is incomplete fighting a beautiful battle, I'll know not defeat with armaments, I'll fight tooth and nail Over swollen seas, my fleets set sail Through torrential rain, blizzards of gale for your affectionate heart, my love will prevail!

5 7 Reply

Is this your poem?

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John S 21 March 2017

Yes, there is nothing more inspiring than other poet's poetic themes...

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Felix otiende 20 May 2020

Nice article..

0 0 Reply
Britte Ninad 04 March 2020

Lovers all are soldiers, and Cupid has his campaigns: beautiful poem

1 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 07 November 2019

Well conceived and nicely brought forth with clarity of thought and mind. An insightful work of art.

2 0 Reply
Adeeb Alfateh 09 June 2019

great and great poem great 10+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

2 0 Reply
Konab Ghumman 10 April 2019

wonderful message love and war thanks for sharing.

2 0 Reply
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