There was no time upon the flowery slopes
Of Ida that OEnone did not love!
Her hand in his, she walked with Paris there,
Singing her joy unto the gods above:
Bare-footed, she and the young shepherd boy,
Tending their flocks with ne'er a thought of Troy!
And still she loved when he was gone away
Unto the kingly courts, the king's own son -
Dreamed on the starry meadows they had walked -
Dreamed on his tender kisses, one by one.
Still singing: "Love is deeper love for pain.
My shepherd boy will tread these groves again!"
She sat with all her hunger in her eyes,
And watched across the blue AEgean Sea,
Musing on faith, and purple, and fine gold,
And Helen's arms and Helen's witchery.
And still she sang: "Though he is charmed awhile,
Back will he come to pale OEnone's smile!"
She heard the shepherds talk upon the hills;
Of Sparta's king they talked, of Helen's name --
Of two who tarried in old Priam's halls,
Dishonoured; and her heart leaped up with shame.
Beneath their babbling tongues her love lay dead,
Wounded to death by what the gossips said!
First published in The Australasian, 3 July 1926