The world an abject vassal to her charms,
And kings competing for a single smile,
Yet love she knew not, till upon this isle
She gave surrender to abducting arms.
Not Theseus, who plucked her lips' first kiss,
Not Menelaus, lawful mate and spouse,
Such answering passion in her heart could rouse,
Or wake such tumult in her soul as this.
Let come what will, let Greece and Asia meet,
Let heroes die and kingdoms run with gore;
Let devastation spread from shore to shore -
Resplendent Helen finds her bondage sweet.
The whole world fights her battles, while she lies
Sunned in the fervour of young Paris' eyes.