Helen of Troy
by Christopher Villiers
Plain features are a blessing, send no ships
Across the seas, drive no men out of mind.
But blood is spilt to honour my red lips
For my clear skin do men life’s ties unbind.
I did not ask for this, did not ask
Foe mothers, daughters, sisters to taste grief,
I can’t replace husbands lost, whose task
It seems is to please one, fast falls life’s leaf.
My beauty passes but the grave remains
Though they’ll dress this up in heroic song
No flesh body is worth such bloody stains,
Zeus and all may swagger, but they’re still wrong.
In order to be some rich fool’s chattel,
Must I see all good be slain in battle?