Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
August 20th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 278,879 comments.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - Helen of Tyre

What phantom is this that appears
Through the purple mist of the years,
Itself but a mist like these?
A woman of cloud and of fire;
It is she; it is Helen of Tyre,
The town in the midst of the seas. 

O Tyre! in thy crowded streets
The phantom appears and retreats,
And the Israelites that sell
Thy lilies and lions of brass,
Look up as they see her pass,
And murmur "Jezebel!" 

Then another phantom is seen
At her side, in a gray gabardine,
With beard that floats to his waist;
It is Simon Magus, the Seer;
He speaks, and she pauses to hear
The words he utters in haste. 

He says: "From this evil fame,
From this life of sorrow and shame,
I will lift thee and make thee mine;
Thou hast been Queen Candace,
And Helen of Troy, and shalt be
The Intelligence Divine!" 

Oh, sweet as the breath of morn,
To the fallen and forlorn
Are whispered words of praise;
For the famished heart believes
The falsehood that tempts and deceives,
And the promise that betrays. 

So she follows from land to land
The wizard's beckoning hand,
As a leaf is blown by the gust,
Till she vanishes into night.
O reader, stoop down and write
With thy finger in the dust. 

O town in the midst of the seas,
With thy rafts of cedar trees,
Thy merchandise and thy ships,
Thou, too, art become as naught,
A phantom, a shadow, a thought,
A name upon men's lips. 

Share |

Added: Jun 9 2005 | Viewed: 2121 times | Comments and analysis of Helen of Tyre by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Comments (0)

Helen of Tyre - Comments and Information

Poet: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poem: Helen of Tyre
Volume: Ultima Thule
There are no comments for this poem. Why not be the first one to post something about it?

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Helen of Tyre, has not yet been commented on. You can click here to be the first to post a comment about it.

Poem Info

Longfellow Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore