Ovid was born in Sulmo (Sulmona), in an Apennine valley, east of Rome, to an equestrian family, and was educated in Rome. His father wished him to study rhetoric toward the practice of law. According to Seneca the Elder, Ovid tended to the emotional, not the argumentative pole of rhetoric. After the death of his brother, Ovid renounced law and began travelling — to Athens, Asia Minor, and Sicily. He held minor public posts, but resigned to pursue poetry. He was part of the circle centered upon the patron Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus. He was thrice-married and twice-divorced by the time he was thirty years old; yet only one marriage yielded offspring — a daughter.
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Love and War
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!
But oh, I suppose she was ugly; she wasn't elegant; I hadn't yearned for her often in my prayers. Yet holding her I was limp, and nothing happened at all: I just lay there, a disgraceful load for her bed.
I don't ask you to be faithful - you're beautiful, after all - but just that I be spared the pain of knowing. I make no stringent demands that you should really be chaste, but only that you try to cover up.
Metamorphoses: Book The First
OF bodies chang'd to various forms, I sing: Ye Gods, from whom these miracles did spring, Inspire my numbers with coelestial heat; 'Till I my long laborious work compleat:
The Art of Love: Book Two
...Short partings do best, though: time wears out affections, The absent love fades, a new one takes its place. With Menelaus away, Helen's disinclination for sleeping Alone led her into her guest's
Elegy for Tibullus
If Memnon's mother mourned, Achilles's mother mourned, and our sad fates can touch great goddesses, then weep, and loose your hair in grief you never earned, Elegy, now ah! too much like your name.
Metamorphoses: Book The Eighth
NOW shone the morning star in bright array, To vanquish night, and usher in the day: The wind veers southward, and moist clouds arise, That blot with shades the blue meridian skies.
Metamorphoses: Book The Third
WHEN now Agenor had his daughter lost, He sent his son to search on ev'ry coast; And sternly bid him to his arms restore The darling maid, or see his face no more,
In summer's heat and mid-time of the day To rest my limbs upon a bed I lay, One window shut, the other open stood, Which gave such light, as twinkles in a wood,
Metamorphoses: Book The Fifth
WHILE Perseus entertain'd with this report His father Cepheus, and the list'ning court, Within the palace walls was heard aloud The roaring noise of some unruly crowd;
Metamorphoses: Book The Sixth
PALLAS, attending to the Muse's song, Approv'd the just resentment of their wrong; And thus reflects: While tamely I commend Those who their injur'd deities defend,
Metamorphoses: Book The Fourteenth
NOW Glaucus, with a lover's haste, bounds o'er The swelling waves, and seeks the Latian shore. Messena, Rhegium, and the barren coast Of flaming Aetna, to his sight are lost:
Metamorphoses: Book The Thirteenth
THE chiefs were set; the soldiers crown'd the field: To these the master of the seven-fold shield Upstarted fierce: and kindled with disdain.
Metamorphoses: Book The Seventh
THE Argonauts now stemm'd the foaming tide, And to Arcadia's shore their course apply'd; Where sightless Phineus spent his age in grief, But Boreas' sons engage in his relief;
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
Love and War
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 ...