Narcissus and Two Other Poems

Narcissus and Two Other Poems

Narcissus and Two Other Poems

Narcissus and Two Other Poems

Excerpt

ARGUMENT

Because Echo's chatter prevented the Queen of the Gods from taking Zeus in open enjoyment with the Oreades, great Hera condemned that nymphto dumbness save in response. Demented by her plight, Echo rushed off into the wilds of Laconia. There she was met first by Pan, who straightway was enamored. Repulsing him, she came upon the young huntsman Narcissus, son of the river Cephisus and the naiad Liriope. Him she incontinently loved and courted, but in vain. The youth, wondering why he should so deeply have cherished his twin sister lately dead, and yet be unable to burn in the least degree for the nymph, recalled talk of his resemblance to that sister; and despising the prophecy of Tiresias, bent over a pool to examine himself reflected there, fell in love with his own surpassing beauty, and was aroused to a desire so violent that he precipitated himself to his death.

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