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Fri, 21 Aug 2009
Narcissi - a beautiful flower, Echo - a beautiful Maiden. Narcissus - the man who thought he was beauty beyond compare.


 
ECHO & NARCISSUS


ECHO & NARCISSUS

Zeus, the King of the Olympians, was known for his many love affairs. Sometimes the young and beautiful Nymph Echo would distract and amuse his wife Hera with long and entertaining stories, while Zeus took advantage of the moment to ravish the other mountain nymphs. When Hera discovered the trickery she punished the talkative Echo by taking away her voice, except in foolish repetition of another's shouted words. Thus, all Echo could do was repeat the voice of another.

Echo fell in love with a vain youth named Narcissus, who was the son of the blue Nymph Leiriope of Thespia. The River god Cephisus had once encircled Leirope with the windings of his streams, and thus trapping her, had seduced the nymph. Narcissus was their child.

Concerned about the baby's welfare, Leirope went to consult the oracle called Teiresias regarding her son's future. Teiresias told the nymph that Narcissus "would live to a ripe old age, as long as he never knew himself."

Narcissus was beautiful as a child and grew even more so as he matured. By the age of sixteen he had left a trail of broken hearts, from rejected lovers of both sexes. Narcissus wanted nothing to do with falling in love with anyone and rebuffed all attempts at romance.

Narcissi, the flower
genus named aftr the vain youth NarcissusOne day when Narcissus was out hunting stags, Echo stealthily followed the handsome youth through the woods, longing to address him but unable to speak first. When Narcissus finally heard footsteps and shouted "Who's there?", Echo answered "Who's there?" And so it went, until finally Echo showed herself and rushed to embrace the lovely youth.


He pulled away from the nymph and vainly told her to get lost. Narcissus left Echo heartbroken and she spent the rest of her life in lonely glens, pining away for the love she never knew, until only her voice remained.

A man named Ameinius was one of Narcissus' most ardent admirers, and repeatedly vied for his attention. The conceited youth responded by sending his suitor a sword, telling him to prove his adoration. Ameinious proceeded to plunge the sword into his heart, committing suicide to demonstrate his love, but not before he beseeched the gods to punish the vain Narcissus.

The goddess of the hunt, Artemis, heard the plea and made Narcissus fall in love, but a kind a love that couldn't be fulfilled. Narcissus came upon a clear spring at Donacon in Thespia and, as he bent low to take a drink, for the first time caught sight of himself reflected in the pool. Try as he might to touch this exquisite person in the waters, however, he never could.

For hours he sat enraptured by the spring, at last recognizing himself but tortured by the realization that he could never possess the object of his infatuation. Narcissus was tormented, much as he had tormented all those who in the past had been unlucky enough to fall in love with him.

Finally unable to stand the agony Narcissus plunged a dagger in his heart and died, calling out a last goodbye to his reflected image. Where his blood soaked the earth sprung up the white narcissus flower with its red corollary.

Posted 18:44

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