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Helen of Troy

Book 4. The Death Of Corythus
How Helen was made an outcast by the Trojan women, and how OEnone, the old love of
Paris, sent her son Corythus to him as her messenger, and how Paris slew him
unwittingly; and of the curses of OEnone, and the coming of the Argive host against
Troy.
I.
For long in Troia was there peace and mirth,
The pleasant hours still passing one by one;
And Helen joy'd at each fresh morning's birth,
And almost wept at setting of the sun,
For sorrow that the happy day was done;
Nor dream'd of years when she should hate the light,
And mourn afresh for every day begun,
Nor fare abroad save shamefully by night.
II.
And Paris was not one to backward cast
A fearful glance; nor pluck sour fruits of sin,
Half ripe; but seized all pleasures while they last,
Nor boded evil ere ill days begin.
Nay, nor lamented much when caught therein,
In each adventure always finding joy,
And hopeful still through waves of war to win
By strength of Hector, and the star of Troy.
III.
Now as the storms drive white sea-birds afar
Within green upland glens to seek for rest,
So rumours pale of an approaching war
Were blown across the islands from the west:
For Agamemnon summon'd all the best
From towns and tribes he ruled, and gave command
That free men all should gather at his hest
Through coasts and islets of the Argive land.
IV.
Sidonian merchant-men had seen the fleet
Black war-galleys that sped from town to town;
Had heard the hammers of the bronze-smiths beat
The long day through, and when the sun went down;
And thin, said they, would show the leafy crown
 
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