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Lucretius: Lull to a timely rest the savage works 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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Lucretius
From De Rerum Natura
Translated by William Ellery Leonard

Mother of Rome, delight of Gods and men,
Dear Venus…
Lull to a timely rest
O’er sea and land the savage works of war,
For thou alone hast power with public peace
To aid mortality; since he who rules
The savage works of battle, puissant Mars,
How often to thy bosom flings his strength
O’ermastered by the eternal wound of love –
And there, with eyes and full throat backward thrown,
Gazing, my Goddess, open-mouthed at thee,
Pastures on love his greedy sight, his breath
Hanging upon thy lips. Him thus reclined
Fill with thy holy body, round, above!
Pour from those lips soft syllables to win
Peace for the Romans, glorious Lady, peace!

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