My lover thrust his hand inside the gate.
My heart began to pound inside my breast.
I rose from bed before it was too late.
When I unlatched the door I was distressed
to see that he had left and gone away.
I searched and called for him, to no avail.
The watchmen found me and, to my dismay,
with blows and bruises they did me assail.
Those watchmen of the walls were cruel to me.
O daughters of Jerusalem, please tell
my lover that, with love, I faint away
for him. For he in favour does excel.
“Please tell us now, O most delightful one,
how your belov’d is better than all men.”
|Helen on the Walls of Troy, Frederic Lord Leighton, 1865|