Sunday, August 21, 2016

PARIS, a poem

WHEN to thee, Trojan—firebrand of the night,
     Whom Hecuba, in fear, to Priam bore—
     The choice was given which should calm restore
To vexed Olympos, thou didst spurn the right
Of regal sovereignty, and the grave might
     Of godlike wisdom,—so renouncing more
     Than e'er was offered to a man before,—
In poor exchange for sensual delight.
Thy fame is an undying infamy;
     And the great city that hath fairest bloomed
Thine adolescent graces,—strangely she,
     As if a name resembling thine foredoomed,
Maintains the standards that appealed to thee,
     And by thy very vices is consumed.
"Paris" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Mine and Thine (1904).

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