Helen of Troy, hard was thy ruling fate!
Woman for whom not only nations waged
Long bloody war, but gods their wills engaged
And stooping downward from their high estate
Fought hand to hand upon the Trojan plains.
Woman whose beauty was the sculptor's dream,
Whose life has been a universal theme;
What of thy heart, its pleasure and its pains?
Thou wert a woman only! and I read
Between the lines the sorrows that were thine,
Thy struggles to resist the tempter's snare.
Ah! for thy weakness and thy love I plead;
What counts to thee art's praise, or verse divine?
Sin and thy country's curse thy doom to bear.