Christopher Marlowe: Helen of Troy (from Doctor Faustus)


Source: Evelyn de Morgan, “Helen of Troy” (1898 painting)


Was this the face that launched 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! — 

Oh, 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 azured arms:

And none but thou shalt be my paramour.


Note: “Ilium” is another name for Troy.