τίς ποτ᾽ὠνόμαζεν ὧδ᾽
ἐς τὸ πᾶν ἐτητύμως—
μή τις ὅντιν᾽ οὐχ ὁρῶμεν προνοί-
αισι τοῦ πεπρωμένου
γλῶσσαν ἐν τύχᾳ νέμων;— 685
τὰν δορίγαμβρον ἀμφινει-
κῆ θ᾽Ἑλέναν; ἐπεὶ πρεπόντως
ἑλένας, ἕλανδρος, ἑλέ-
πτολις, ἐκ τῶν ἁβροτίμων
προκαλυμμάτων ἔπλευσε 690
ζεφύρου γίγαντος αὔρᾳ,
πολύανδροί τε φεράσπιδες κυναγοὶ
κατ᾽ἴχνος πλατᾶν ἄφαντον
κελσάντων Σιμόεντος ἀ-
Who may he have been that named thus wholly with exactitude --
(Was he someone whom we see not, by forecastings of the future
Guiding tongue in happy mood?)
-- Her with battle for a bridegroom, on all sides contention-wooed,
Helena? Since -- mark the suture! --
Ship's-Hell, Man's-Hell, City's-Hell,
From the delicately-pompous curtains that pavilion well,
Forth, by favour of the gale
Of earth-born Zephuros did she sail.
Many shield-bearers, leaders of the pack,
Sailed too upon their track,
Theirs who had directed oar,
Then visible no more,
To Simois' leaf-luxuriant shore --
For sake of strife all gore!
Trans. Robert Browning, 1889. Full text
 Who can have given a name so altogether true—was it some power invisible guiding his tongue aright by forecasting of destiny?—who named that bride of the spear and source of strife with the name of Helen? For, true to her name, a Hell she proved to ships, Hell to men, Hell to city, when stepping forth from her delicate and costly-curtained bower, she sailed the sea before the breath of earth-born Zephyrus. And after her a goodly host of warrior huntsmen followed on the oars' vanished track in pursuit of a quarry that had beached its boat on Simois' leafy banks—in a strife to end in blood.
Trans. Herbert Weir Smyth, 1926. Full text.
Say, from whose lips the presage fell?
Who read the future all too well,
And named her, in her natal hour,
Helen, the bride with war for dower
'Twas one of the Invisible,
Guiding his tongue with prescient power.
On fleet, and host, and citadel,
War, sprung from her, and death did lour,
When from the bride-bed's fine-spun veil
She to the Zephyr spread her sail.
Strong blew the breeze-the surge closed oer
The cloven track of keel and oar,
But while she fled, there drove along,
Fast in her wake, a mighty throng-
Athirst for blood, athirst for war,
Forward in fell pursuit they sprung,
Then leapt on Simois' bank ashore,
The leafy coppices among-
No rangers, they, of wood and field,
But huntsmen of the sword and shield.
Trans E.D.A. Morshead, 1887. Full text.
Who is he that named you so
fatally in every way?
Could it be some mind unseen
in divination of your destiny
shaping to the lips that name
for the bride of spears and blood
Helen, which is death? Appropriately
death of ships, death of men and cities
from the bower's soft curtained
and secluded luxury she sailed then,
driven on the giant west wind,
and armored men in their thousands came
huntsmen down the oar blades' fading footprint
to struggle in blood with those
who by the bank of Simoeis
Beached their hulls where the leaves break.
Trans. Richmond Lattimore 1959. Full text.