Magic – Ovid

YE elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes, and groves, 
And ye that on the sands with printless foot 
Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him 
When he comes back, you demi-puppets that 
By moonshine do the green sour ringlets make, 
Whereof the ewe, not bites; and you whose pastime 
Is to make midnight mushrooms, that rejoice 
To hear the solemn curfew; by whose aid, 
Weak masters though ye be, I have bedimm’d 
The noontide sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds, 
And ‘twixt the green sea and the azured vault 
Set roaring water; to the dread rattling thunder 
Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout oak 
With his own bolt; the strong-based promontory 
Have I made a shake, and by the spurs, pluck’d up 
The pine and cedar; graves at my command 
Have wak’d their sleepers, op’d, and let ’em forth 
By my so potent art. 

Love And War – 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 the 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 are swollen with a 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 a 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 the 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 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.

To Life’s Pilgrim – Geoffrey Chaucer

FLY from the press, and dwell with soothfastness;

Suffice unto thy good, though it be small,
For hoard hath hate, and climbing tickleness ;

Preise hath envie, and weal is blent o’er all.

Savor no more than thee behoven shall,
Rede well thy self that other folk can’st rede,
And Truth thee shalt deliver ’tis no drede.

That thee is sent receive in buxomness :
The wrestling of this world, asketh a fall.

Here is no home, here is but wilderness.
Forth, pilgrim, forth on, best out of thy stall;
Look up on high, and thank the God of all!

Weivith thy lust, and let thy ghost thee lead,

And Truth thee shalt deliver ’tis no drede.

Since I From Love – Geoffrey Chaucer

Since I from Love escaped am so fat,
I ne’er think to be in his prison ta’en;
Since I am free, I count him not a bean.

He may answer, and saye this and that;
I do no force, I speak right as I mean;
Since I from Love escaped am so fat.

Love hath my name struck out of his slat,
And he is struck out of my bookes clean,
For ever more; there is none other mean;
Since I from Love escaped am so fat.

A Cook – Geoffrey Chaucer

They had a cook with them who stood alone For boiling chicken with a marrow-bone, Sharp flavouring powder and spice for savour. He could distinguish London ale by flavour, And he could roast and boil and seethe and fry, Make good thick soup and bake a tasty pie… As for blancmange, he made it with the best.