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543

THE RAPE OF HELEN

By COLLUTHUS

Translated into English by A. W. Mair

Ye Nymphs of Troy, children of the river Xanthus,a who oft-times leave on your fatherÔs sands the snoods that bind your tresses and the sacred toys of your hands, and array you for the dance on Ida,b come hither, leaving the sounding river, and declare to me the counsel of the herdsman judgec: say whence from the hills he came, sailing the unaccustomed deep, albeit ignorant of the business of the sea; and what was the occasion of the ships that were the spring of woe, that a cowherd should stir heaven and earth together; and what was the primeval beginning of the feud, that herdsmen should deal judgement to immortals: what was the suit: whence heard he the name of the Argive nymphd? For ye came yourselves and beheld, beneath the three-peaked cliff of Idaean Phalacra,e Paris sitting on his shepherd seat and the queen of the Graces, even Aphrodite, glorying. So among the high-peaked hills of the Haemonians,f the marriage song of Peleus was being sung while, at the bidding of Zeus, Ganymedeg poured the wine. And all the race of the gods hasted to do honour to the white-

NOTES

a Scamander, a river in the Troad.

b A mountain in the Troad.

c Paris.

d Helen.

e Peak of Ida, cf. Lyc. 24.

f Thessalians.

g Son of Tros, for his beauty carried away and made cup-bearer to Zeus (Hom. Il. xx. 232).





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