So it's exam break and I was finishing off a math assignment, looking for a good definition for a proper face in the geometrical sense, when I caught sight of this link which I strangely followed:
In studying a different subject I came across Ovid's Amores II xiv:
Why should girls be exempt from war-service
and refuse to follow the Amazons
if they carry lethal weapons in peace-time
and suffer self inflicted wounds?
The first woman to tear an embryo from the womb
should have died of that assault herself.
How can you fight this duel on the sands of death
simply to save your stomach a few wrinkles?
If the mothers of old had followed your vicious example
mankind would be extinct—
we should need a second Deucalion
to renew our stony stock.
Who would have broken the power of Priam
had Thetis cut short her pregnancy?
Had Ilia mudered her unborn twins
who would have founded the queen of cities?
The world could wait in vain for Caesar
if Venus miscarried with Aeneas.
You yourself would have died unbeautiful
had your own mother been as callous as you.
And is it not better for me to die of love
than be murdered by my mother?
Why rob the vine when the grapes are growing?
Why strip the tree of the bitter fruit?
Let it ripen, ready to fall. Let first beginnings be.
New life is worth a little patience.
Why jab the needle in your own flesh
and poison the unborn?
We condemn Medea and Philomela
for murdering their children—
Both were inhuman mothers: but both had bitter cause
to punish their men by such blood-sacrifice.
Is there a Jason or is there a Tereus driving you
to mutilate your own body?
No tigress in wild Armenia does that—
no lioness destroys her own cubs.
But tender-hearted girls do—and pay the penalty:
for the murderess often dies herself,
dies and is carried out in a shroud of hair to the burning,
and the people who see it shout Serve her right !
May my words vanish on the wind
and bring us no bad luck.
May the gods be gracious, overlook a first offence
and give her a second chance.