E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Nicean Barks or Nycean Barks.
Edgar Poe, in his lyric To Helen, says
Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently oer a perfumed sea
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.
The way-worn wanderer was Dionysos or Bacchus, after his renowned conquests. His native shore was the Western Horn, called the Amalthan Horn. And the Nicean barks were vessels sent from the island Nysa, to which in infancy Dionysos was conveyed to screen him from Rhea. The perfumed sea was the sea surrounding Nysa, a paradisal island.