Home > Uncategorized > Theocritus: May spiders spin their slender webs over weapons of war

Theocritus: May spiders spin their slender webs over weapons of war

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Theocritus
Idylls
From Number 16
Translated by Bariss Mills

And may all our towns spoiled by enemy hands
be peopled by their former citizens
again. May they work the fertile fields,
and may countless thousands of sheep fatten
in pastures and go bleating over the plain,
and may cattle coming home in herds
warn the late traveler to hurry
on his way. And may the fallow ground
be plowed at seed-time when the cicada
sings overhead in the treetops, watching
the shepherds in the sun. And may spiders
spin their slender webs over battle-weapons,
and the battle-cry be heard no more.

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