Ovid Speaks

Ovid [14 BC - 37 AD] speaking about soldiers and lovers: Just excerpts not the whole thing.

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 sailor 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.

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.

No comments: