It is not for me, the day

It is not for me, the day,
Nor this light of sun
Ah, mother, mother,
The same terror is cast on us both.

Alas for that Phrygian cleft,
Beaten by snow,
The mountain-hill, Ida,
Where Priam left the young prince,
Brought far from his mother
To perish on the rocks:
Paris who is called
Idaeos, Idaeos
In the Phrygian court.

Would that he had never thrived,
Would that he had not kept the flocks
O that he had not dwelt
At that white place of the water-gods:
In meadows,
Thick with yellow flower-sprays
And flowers, tint of rose,
And the hyacinth we break for gods.

For Pallas came there,
And Kypris, crafty-heart,
And Hera and Hermes, legate of god
(Beautiful Kypris,
Pallas with spear-hilt,
Hera, queen, wed with Zeus)
It was a hated judgment, O slender-girls.
The contest of beautiful-face by beautiful-face
Has brought this:
I am sent to death
To bring honour to the Greeks. CH .

For Ilium, for Ilium
Artemis exacts sacrifice. IPH .

O wretched, wretched,—
I know you, Helen, sharp to do hurt.
I am slaughtered for your deceit.

O I am miserable:
You cherished me, my mother,
But even you desert me.
I am sent to an empty place.

O that Aulis had not harboured
These beaked ships,
Nor sheltered their brazen prows
As they floated toward Troy:
O that Zeus had not turned them
Nor wafted their splendour
Through the straits:
For Zeus strikes different winds
To each ship,
So that some men laugh
With the light flap of the sails,
Some bend with anger
At their work:

Some haul up the sheets,
Some knot the great ropes,
Some dash through the spray
To quick death.

And each man is marked for toil,
Much labour is his fate,
Nor is there any new hurt
That may be added to the race.
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