James Elroy Flecker

Destroyer of Ships, Men, Cities

Helen of Troy has sprung from Hell
    To claim her ancient throne,
So we have bidden friends farewell
    To follow her alone.

The Lady of the laurelled brow,
    The Queen of pride and power,
Looks rather like a phantom now,
    And rather like a flower.

Deep in her eyes the lamp of night
    Burns with a secret flame,
Where shadows pass that have no sight,
    And ghosts that have no name.

For mute is battle's brazen horn
    That rang for Priest and King,
And she who drank of that brave morn
    Is pale with evening.

An hour there is when bright words flow,
    A little hour for sleep,
An hour between, when lights are low,
    And then she seems to weep,

But no less lovely than of old
    She shines, and almost hears
The horns that blew in days of gold,
    The shouting charioteers.

And still she breaks the hearts of men,
    Their hearts and all their pride,
Doomed to be cruel once again,
    And live dissatisfied.

About the poet
James Elroy Flecker
By the same poet
To a Poet a thousand years hence
The Town without a Market
The Ballad of Camden Town
Felo de se
Tenebris Interlucentem
Invitation to a young but learned friend...
Ballad of the Londoner
The First Sonnet of Bathrolaire
The Second Sonnet of Bathrolaire
The Masque of the Magi
The Ballad of Hampstead Heath
Litany to Satan
The Translator and the Children
War Song of the Saracens
Joseph and Mary
No Coward's Song
A Western Voyage
The Welsh Sea
Oxford Canal
Hialmar speaks to the Raven
The Ballad of the Student in the South
The Queen's song
Lord Arnaldos
We that were friends
My Friend
Mary Magdalen
I rose from dreamless hours
A Miracle of Bethlehem
Gravis Dulcis Immutabilis
The Ballad of Zacho
Pavlovna in London
The Sentimentalist
Don Juan in Hell
The Ballad of Iskander
Related books
James Elroy Flecker at amazon.co.uk

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