The Face That Launch'D A Thousand Ships

Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack'd;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear'd to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!

by Christopher Marlowe

Comments (12)

............beautiful lines ★ O, thou art fairer than the evening air Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships, And burnt the topless towers of Ilium? Unparalleled lines of sheer grandeur and splendor and a poem of unparalleled beauty. Great! Great! Great!
Compare this to Edgar Allan Poe's To Helen. Here is the voice of a genuine poet. Poe's Helen is one of his best creations, but is light years away from this in the quality of language and the height of achievement.
In a way i think he is smitten by the Helen of Troy legend but then i think he is comparing his own paramour who he feels is much more beautiful than Helen.. I have no idea if there are any Greek vases with Helen's picture on it but to love someone as much as this poet does well alright it's his torment..
I don't really get this one because of the old English. The line Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again is nice and memorable. I like how it shows Helen's power because she is in ownership of his soul.
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