War Poems - Poems For War - Love And War

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Love And War - Poem by Ovid

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


Comments about Love And War by Ovid

  • Gold Star - 9,580 Points Amar Agarwala (3/21/2017 7:39:00 PM)

    A powerful poem on love and war and of a lovers' mirth and passion! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Veteran Poet - 1,073 Points John S (3/21/2017 9:45:00 AM)

    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! (Report) Reply

    Veteran Poet - 1,073 Points John S (3/21/2017 5:40:00 PM)

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

    Gold Star - 10,266 Points Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black (3/21/2017 10:35:00 AM)

    Is this your poem?

  • Gold Star - 34,870 Points Savita Tyagi (3/21/2017 9:45:00 AM)

    This is the eternal truth. The tale of love and war told in a captivating poem. Thanks for the translation. (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »

Poems About War

  1. 1. A War Song To Englishmen , William Blake
  2. 2. Love And War , Ovid
  3. 3. The Next War , Wilfred Owen
  4. 4. Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War , Margaret Atwood
  5. 5. War Is Never Over , Cecil L. Harrison
  6. 6. A Prayer In Time Of War , Alfred Noyes
  7. 7. From A German War Primer , Bertolt Brecht
  8. 8. In California During The Gulf War , Denise Levertov
  9. 9. War Some More , Sandra Osborne
  10. 10. Lessons Of The War , Henry Reed
  11. 11. Nefarious War , Li Po
  12. 12. Two Poems From The War , Archibald MacLeish
  13. 13. A Meditation In Time Of War , William Butler Yeats
  14. 14. Repression Of War Experience , Siegfried Sassoon
  15. 15. On Receiving News Of The War , Isaac Rosenberg
  16. 16. Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind , Stephen Crane
  17. 17. Meditations In Time Of Civil War , William Butler Yeats
  18. 18. Spring In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  19. 19. On Being Asked For A War Poem , William Butler Yeats
  20. 20. Memorial Day For The War Dead , Yehuda Amichai
  21. 21. Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A M.. , William Shakespeare
  22. 22. War Music [down On Your Knees, Achilles] , Christopher Logue
  23. 23. The Next War , Robert Graves
  24. 24. War Of The Worlds , john tiong chunghoo
  25. 25. Woman And War , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  26. 26. War Profit Litany , Allen Ginsberg
  27. 27. War Song , John Davidson
  28. 28. War-Music , Henry Van Dyke
  29. 29. Dusk In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  30. 30. Song-Books Of The War , Siegfried Sassoon
  31. 31. At The War Office, London (Affixing The .. , Thomas Hardy
  32. 32. To Lucasta On Going To The War - For The.. , Robert Graves
  33. 33. There Was Crimson Clash Of War. , Stephen Crane
  34. 34. War...War...War... , joe yourmom
  35. 35. The Holy War , Rudyard Kipling
  36. 36. At The War Office, London. , Thomas Hardy
  37. 37. The War Films , Sir Henry Newbolt
  38. 38. A Date With An Anti-War Protester , Chuck Audette
  39. 39. They Gave Us A War That Nobody Wanted , Patrick O'Donnell
  40. 40. War Song , Thomas Moore
  41. 41. - Love Is War! , Ronberge (anno primo)
  42. 42. War , Charles Wagner
  43. 43. Man's Civil War , Robert Southwell
  44. 44. Tell Brave Deeds Of War , Stephen Crane
  45. 45. The War After The War , John Le Gay Brereton
  46. 46. Fortune Of War , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  47. 47. On Being Asked To Write A Poem Against T.. , Hayden Carruth
  48. 48. Declaration Of War , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  49. 49. A Radical War Song , Thomas Babbington Macaulay
  50. 50. The Ashantee War , William Topaz McGonagall
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