THE STORY OF WHAT LED TO THE SIEGE OF TROY
 IN the deep forest that clothes Mount Ida,
not far from the strong city of Troy, Paris,
son of King Priam, watched his father's
flocks by night.
Suddenly through the dim woods he saw
a light, as if the golden sun and silver moon
shone both together.
And, lo! in the radiance of this light there
stood before him the three fairest of the
goddesses—queenly Hera, wise Athene, and
Like music stealing through the trees
came the soft voice of Hera:
'Of all mortal men art thou the most
beautiful, Paris, and to thee do we come
for judgment. Tell us which of us is the
fairest of all, and to that one whom thou so
deemest, give this golden apple.'
 So spake Hera, and placed in the hand of
Paris an apple of purest gold.
Again she spake: 'If to me, Hera, queen
of goddesses, and wife of mighty Zeus, king
of all the gods, thou dost grant the prize
of loveliness, Power immeasurable shall be
thine. King shalt thou be of the lands
where the grey dawn rises, and king even
to where the red sun goes down. A hundred
peoples shall call thee lord.'
She was silent, and the voice of Athene,
fair and pure as a silver moonbeam, broke
the stillness of the starless night.
'To me award the prize,' she said, 'and
wise as the gods shalt thou be. With me
as thy friend and guide, all things will
be possible to thee.'
Last of all, standing in a rosy light, as of
the dawning sunlight in the spring, spoke
'What are Power and Wisdom, fair Paris?'
she pled. 'Wisdom and Power bring no
joy at last. I will give thee Love, and for
thy wife thou shalt have the fairest woman
in all the world.'
 And Paris, the melody of her voice still in
his ears, as he gazed spellbound on her face
of wondrous beauty, handed to Aphrodite
the golden prize.
So was it that the wrath of the gods came
upon Paris, son of Priam. For Hera and
Athene, filled with rage, vowed to be
revenged upon Paris and all his race, and
made all the gods pledge themselves to aid
them in their vengeance.
Across far seas sailed Paris, with
Aphrodite as his guide, to Sparta, where Menelaus
A brave king was Menelaus, and happily
he lived in his kingdom with Helen, his
queen, fairest of all women. One child they
had, a little maid, Hermione.
When to Sparta there came Paris, with
eyes blue as the sea and hair that gleamed
like gold on his purple robe, gallant and
brave, and more beautiful than any mortal
man, glad was the welcome that he had
And when Paris gazed on Helen's face,
he knew that in all the world there was
 no woman half so fair as the wife of
Then did Aphrodite cast her magic upon
No longer did she love her husband, nor
did she remember little Hermione, her own
When Paris spoke to her words of love,
and begged her to flee with him, and to be
his wife, she knew only that she loved Paris
more than all else. Gladly she went with
him, and in his red-prowed ship together
they sailed across the green waves to
Troyland, where Mount Ida showed her snowy
crown high above the forests.
An angry man was Menelaus when he
found that Paris had stolen from him the
fair wife who was to him as his own heart.
To his elder brother Agamemnon,
overlord of all the Greeks, he went and told his
And from far and wide did the Greek hosts
gather, until a hundred thousand men and
eleven hundred fourscore and six ships
were ready to cross the seas to Troyland.
 Many were the heroes who sailed away
from Greece to punish Paris and his kin,
and to bring back fair Helen to her own
Few there were who came home, for ten
long years of woe and of spilling of blood
came to the men of Greece and of Troy from
the fatal beauty of Helen the queen.