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(26 February 1564 - 30 May 1593 / Canterbury, England)

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The face that launch'd a thousand ships

Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!
Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.
Here will I dwell, for heaven is in these lips,
And all is dross that is not Helena.
I will be Paris, and for love of thee,
Instead of Troy, shall Wittenberg be sack'd;
And I will combat with weak Menelaus,
And wear thy colours on my plumed crest;
Yea, I will wound Achilles in the heel,
And then return to Helen for a kiss.
O, thou art fairer than the evening air
Clad in the beauty of a thousand stars;
Brighter art thou than flaming Jupiter
When he appear'd to hapless Semele;
More lovely than the monarch of the sky
In wanton Arethusa's azur'd arms;
And none but thou shalt be my paramour!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003
Edited: Thursday, May 05, 2011


Read poems about / on: paris, kiss, beauty, heaven, sky, star, wind

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Comments about this poem (The Passionate Shepherd to his Love by Christopher Marlowe )

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  • Melissa Ayton (8/26/2013 8:22:00 AM)

    check out my poem summer fun!

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Shahzia Batool (8/26/2013 5:35:00 AM)

    nice to read and re-read...the passage is a luxury in reading...a feast, indeed!

  • Ross Mackay (8/26/2012 6:29:00 AM)

    Two people have got this wrong so I'll say it. It isn't Paris talking, it's Faustus. This is an extract from the play 'Doctor Faustus', one of the most famous plays of the Elizabethan era which wasn't written by Shakespeare.

  • Shahzia Batool (8/26/2012 2:56:00 AM)

    Much celebrated apostrophe to the gorgeous Helen! Ramesh T A has rightly remarked about the great Marlowe. At a critical moment he makes mephistophilis conjure the spirit of Helen for Faustus' pleasure(in order to dissuade him from repentance) ...the spell is so much powerful that even in the approaching snares of death, his sensuality reaches its heights.The paragon of beauty is the only remedy available for his anguished soul.thank u PH for sharing this piece... :)

  • Ramesh T A (8/26/2011 3:47:00 AM)

    Beautifully written wonderful poem in support of love by great Christopher Marlowe! It is a classic immortal for all to read and enjoy till the end of time! Long live Paris and Helen in literature to enlighten the readers about the value of love, beauty and truth in the world all have to cherish for the upliftment of humanity forever!

  • Jessel Jane Tevar (8/26/2006 9:49:00 PM)

    Very wonderful... Well-penned piece.Nice imagery and I like the choice of words.

  • Amber Smith (8/26/2006 3:48:00 AM)

    The story of helen of troy....wow i like it alot.. this is also my favorite story about the iiresitable helen and her lover paris! ! This poem really captures the essance of how helen was so irresitable!

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