HELEN

All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,
remembering past enchantments
and past ills.

Greece sees unmoved
God's daughter, born of love,
the beauty of cool feet
and slenderest knees,
could love indeed the maid,
only if she were laid,
white ash amid funereal cypresses.


-- Hilda Doolittle (1924)

Copyright 1982 by the Estate of Hilda Doolittle. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher.
Sheltered Garden . . . Fragment 68 . . . Heat . . . Garden . . . Leda . . . Let Zeus
Eurydice . . . Mysteries Remain . . . Pear Tree . . . Sea Poppies . . . Sea Rose

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