Paris, to Helen

H ELEN , they blame me for the wrong I wrought:
They say I planned this thing, that came unsought;
Do they think love descends upon a man
According to the way the elders plan,
Or that the counsels of a king can make
That madness sleep, when once love bids it wake?

Helen, they blame me; all the world cries shame,
Saying that for a kiss I slew your fame,
Your good fame, in men's eyes; yet, if they knew
Your small, white face, and your great eyes of blue,
Your body white as is the mid-sea's foam
Where only homeless seabirds find a home, —
They would not blame me for the wrong I wrought —
Your beauty cast its net, and I was caught!
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