Home  »  library  »  poem  »  A Soldier’s Bride

C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

A Soldier’s Bride

By Ovid (43 B.C.–18 A.D.)


Translation of Emma Garland

AH! Trojan women (happier far than we),

Fain in your lot would I partaker be!

If ye must mourn o’er some dead hero’s bier,

And all the dangers of the war are near,

With you at least the fair and youthful bride

May arm her husband, in becoming pride;

Lift the fierce helmet to his gallant brow,

And with a trembling hand his sword bestow;

With fingers all unused the weapon brace,

And gaze with fondest love upon his face!

How sweet to both this office she will make,—

How many a kiss receive, how many take!

When all equipped she leads him from the door,

Her fond commands how oft repeating o’er:

“Return victorious, and thine arms enshrine—

Return, beloved, to these arms of mine!”

Nor shall these fond commands be all in vain:

Her hero-husband will return again.

Amid the battle’s din and clashing swords

He still will listen to her parting words;

And if more prudent, still, ah! not less brave,

One thought for her and for his home will save.