As of the chariot the Thessalian steed,
So rosy Helen of the Spartan breed
Is ornament and grace. Like Helen none
Draws the fine thread around the spindle spun,
And in the ready basket piles so much ;
None interlaces with so quick a touch
The woof and warp; for other never came
A web so perfect from the broidering frame.
Like Helen none the cithern knows to ring,
Of Artemis or tall Athene sing,
Like Helen, in whose liquid-shining eyes
Desire, the light of love, dissolving lies.
O fair and lovely girl I a matron now-
Where meadow-flowers in dewy brightness grow,
We'll hie with early dawn, and fondly pull
Sweets to twine garlands for our beautiful ;
Remembering Helen with our fond regrets,
As for the absent ewe her suckling frets.
Of lotuses we'll hang thee many a wreath
Upon the shady plane, and drop beneath
Oil from the silver pyx; and on the bark,
In Doric, shall be graved for all to mark,
“ To me pay honour -I am Helen's tree.”
Hail, bride I high-wedded bridegroom, hail to thee !
Fruitful Latona fruit of marriage give ;
Cypris in bonds of mutual love to live ;
And Zeus the wealth that shall without an end
From high-born sire to high-born son descend !
Sleep, happy pair! in love enjoy your rest,
Breathing desire into each other's breast.
But wake at dawn ; for we'll present us here
At the first call of crested chanticleer.
Hymen, O Hymenæan ! joyful spread
With love's contentment sweet this marriage-bed.