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-weedor a painted crown? how often
did her high breasts meet the spray,
how often dive down?