Stars wheel in purple, yours is not so rare as Hesperus, nor yet so great a star as bright Aldeboran or Sirius, nor yet the stained and brilliant one of War; stars turn in purple, glorious to the sight; yours is not gracious as the Pleiads are nor as Orion's sapphires, luminous; yet disenchanted, cold, imperious face, when all the others blighted, reel and fall, your star, steel-set, keeps lone and frigid tryst to freighted ships, baffled in wind and blast.
Helen in Egypt, Eidolon, Book III: 4
Helen herself seems almost ready for this sacrifice--at least, for the immolation of herself before this greatest love of Achilles, his dedication to "his own ship" and the figurehead, "an idol or eidolon . . . a mermaid, Thetis upon the prow."
Did her eyes slant in the old way? was she Greek or Egyptian? had some Phoenician sailor wrought her? was she oak-wood or cedar? had she been cut from an awkward block of ship-wood at the ship-builders, and afterwards riveted there, or had the prow itself been shaped to her mermaid body, curved to her mermaid hair? was there a dash of paint in the beginning, in the garment-fold, did the blue afterwards wear away? did they re-touch her arms, her shoulders? did anyone touch her ever? Had she other zealot and lover, or did he alone worship her? did she wear a girdle of sea-weed or a painted crown? how often did her high breasts meet the spray, how often dive down?