A Pro-Life Poem from the First Century B.C.?
This is an excerpt from a poem, Amores, by a Roman poet known as Ovid written around 16 B.C.:
Against themselves if they knew arms employ
And madly with new wounds their lives destroy?
The cruel mother who did first contrive
Her babe to butcher ere 'twas scarce alive,
Who thus from nature's tender dictates swerv'd,
To perish by her proper hands deserv'd.
Why do the sex forget their softness? why
Such projects for a foolish fancy try?
The belly must be smooth, no wrinkle there
To shock the lover's wanton glance appear;
His touch as well as sight they fain would please,
And the womb early of its burden ease.
Had woman sooner known this wicked trade,
Among the race of men what havock had they made.
Mankind had been extinct, and lost the seed,
Without a wonder to restore the breed,...
Ah, vile invention, ah, accurs'd design,
To rob of rip'ning fruit the loaded vine
Ah, let it grow for nature's use mature,
Ah, let it its full length of time endure;
'Twill of itself, alas! too soon decay,
And quickly fall, like autumn leaves, away
Why barb'rously dost thou thy bowels tear
To kill the human load that quickens there?
On venom'd drugs why venture, to destroy
The pledge of pleasure past, the promis'd boy?
Medea, guilty of her childrens' blood,
The mark of ev'ry age's curse has stood;