[Editor: This poem by Una Shaw was published in Birth: A Little Journal of Australian Poetry (Melbourne, Vic.), September 1920.]
Helen of Troy.
I would that Helen had not died
So many years ago,
For there might still be with us men
Who had sweet Helen in their ken
When she bent low and low
And leaned her over Troy Town’s walls,
Thousands of years ago.
I would not have sweet Helen here
In our new world of men,
But this is all that I desire —
An old man by a flickering fire
To tell, time and again,
How Helen leaned her o’er the walls …
Ah! Time were gracious then.
— Una Shaw.
Birth: A Little Journal of Australian Poetry (Melbourne, Vic.), September 1920, p. 75
ken = knowledge, perception, understanding (also means “know”, particularly as used in Scotland)
o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)