Friday Poem (0314)


A Cow Mourning For Her Calf

Oft at some consecrated altar-side,
Where fragrant incense burns, a calf lies slain,
And from his breast breathes out the warm life-tide:
But the lone mother, o’er the grassy land
Far ranging, sees his cloven hoof-prints plain,
And leaves with roving eyes no spot unscanned
For her lost young, and fills with lowings wild
The shady wood; then tireless turns again
To the bare stall, sore stricken for her child.
Naught can the dewy grass, or tender leaf,
Or brimming river-bank, once fondly known,
Avail to bannish that o’er-mastering grief;
Nor by the sight of other calves, upgrown
In the fair fields, is her sad heart beguiled:
So deeply yearns she for her one, her own.

Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, II, 352-366


4 thoughts on “Friday Poem (0314)

  1. Cristophe Thill: If that’s as deeply as you look into it, then you are missing the point of the poem entirely.
    Anyway, as a side note, even many scientists now hold the view that animals can grieve. The view of animals as automatons is long past.

  2. I’ve never seen the appeal of veal. Aside from the cruelty aspect of it, I have never seen the point of tasteless meat. (Don’t give me the “delicate flavor” crap, it’s tasteless. I love the delicate flavours of things like sushi, but veal just tastes like, well…bland.)

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