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Pyramus and Thisbe more worthy of life than I, hast fallen the first victim. I will follow.

more worthy of life than I, hast fallen the first victim. I will follow. I am the guilty cause, in
tempting thee forth to a place of such peril, and not being myself on the spot to guard thee.
This story is written by the Latin writer Ovid. Come forth, ye lions, from the rocks, and tear this guilty body with your teeth." He took up the
veil, carried it with him to the appointed tree, and covered it with kisses and with tears. "My
Pyramus was the handsomest youth, and Thisbe the fairest maiden, in all Babylonia, where blood also shall stain your texture," said he, and drawing his sword plunged it into his heart.
Semiramis reigned. Their parents occupied adjoining houses; and neighbourhood brought the The blood spurted from the wound, and tinged the white mulberries of the tree all red; and
young people together, and acquaintance ripened into love. They would gladly have married, sinking into the earth reached the roots, so that the red colour mounted through the trunk to the
but their parents forbade. One thing, however, they could not forbid- that love should glow with fruit. By this time Thisbe, still trembling with fear, yet wishing not to disappoint her lover,
equal ardour in the bosoms of both. They conversed by signs and glances, and the fire burned stepped cautiously forth, looking anxiously for the youth, eager to tell him the danger she had
more intensely for being covered up. In the wall that parted the two houses there was a crack, escaped. When she came to the spot and saw the changed colour of the mulberries she
caused by some fault in the structure. No one had remarked it before, but the lovers doubted whether it was the same place. While she hesitated she saw the form of one
discovered it. What will not love discover! It afforded a passage to the voice; and tender struggling in the agonies of death. She started back, a shudder ran through her frame as a
messages used to pass backward and forward through the gap. As they stood, Pyramus on ripple on the face of the still water when a sudden breeze sweeps over it. But as soon as she
this side, Thisbe on that, their breaths would mingle. "Cruel wall," they said, "Why do you keep recognized her lover, she screamed and beat her breast, embracing the lifeless body, pouring
two lovers apart? But we will not be ungrateful. We owe you, we confess, the privilege of tears into its wounds, and imprinting kisses on the cold lips. "O Pyramus," she cried, "What has
transmitting loving words to willing, ears." Such words they uttered on different sides of the done this? Answer me, Pyramus; it is your own Thisbe that speaks. Hear me, dearest, and lift
wall; and when night came and they must say farewell, they pressed their lips upon the wall, that drooping head!" At the name of Thisbe, Pyramus opened his eyes, then closed them
she on her side, he on his, as they could come no nearer. again. She saw her veil stained blood and the scabbard empty of its sword. "Thy own hand has
slain thee, and for my sake," she said. "I too can be brave for once, and my love is as strong
Next morning, when Aurora had put out the stars, and the sun had melted the frost from the as thine. I will follow thee in death, for I have been the cause; and death which alone could part
grass, they met at the accustomed spot. Then, after lamenting their hard fate, they agreed that us shall not prevent my joining thee. And ye, unhappy parents of us both, deny us not our
next night, when all was still, they would slip away from the watchful eyes, leave their dwellings united request. As love and death have joined us, let one tomb contain us. And thou, tree,
and walk out into the fields; and to insure a meeting, repair to a well-known edifice standing retain the marks of slaughter. Let thy berries still serve for memorials of our blood." So saying
without the city's bounds, called the Tomb of Ninus, and that the one who came first should she plunged the sword into her breast. Her parents ratified her wish, the gods also ratified it.
await the other at the foot of a certain tree. It was a white mulberry tree, and stood near a cool The two bodies were buried in one sepulchre, and the tree ever after brought forth purple
spring. All was agreed on, and they waited impatiently for the sun to go down beneath the berries, as it does to this day.
waters and night to rise up from them. Then cautiously Thisbe stole forth, unobserved by the
family, her head covered with a veil, made her way to the monument and sat down under the Orpheus and Eurydice
tree. As she sat alone in the dim light of the evening she descried a lioness, her jaws reeking
with recent slaughter, approaching the fountain to slake her thirst. Thisbe fled at the sight, and This story is writen by Virgil.
sought refuge in the hollow of a rock. As she fled she dropped her veil. The lioness after
drinking at the spring turned to retreat to the woods, and seeing the veil on the ground, tossed The very earliest musicians were gods. Gods such as Athena, Hermes, and Apollo drew
and rent it with her bloody mouth. sounds so harmonious that the gods on Mount Olympus forget all else. Next to these gods
came few mortals so admirable in their art that they almost equaled the great gods. One of
Pyramus, having been delayed, now approached the place of meeting. He saw in the sand the these mortals was Orpheus, son of one of the Muses and a Thracian prince. Orpheus was
footsteps of the lion, and the colour fled from his cheeks at the sight. Presently he found the given the gift of music by his mother and that gift was nurtured by Thrace where he grew up.
veil all rent and bloody. "O hapless girl," said he, "I have been the cause of thy death! Thou, The Thracians were the most musically inclined peoples of Greece. Orpheus was unparalleled
in skill when it came to mere mortals, his only rivals were the gods. No one and nothing could Ceyx, a king in Thessaly, was son of Lucifer, the light-bearer. His wife Alcyone was also of
resist him. He had the ability to control both animate and inanimate objects. Little is known royal blood, she was daughter of Aeolus, King of the Winds. The two loved each other
about Orpheus prior to his marriage, but it is known that he sailed with Jason on the Argo. He relentlessly, and forbade each other from every being apart. However a day came when Ceyx
was proved quite useful because when the heroes were weak and weary or the rowing was decided he must leave her to make a long journey across the sea. Various troubling matters
immensely difficult he would play his lyre arousing the freshness in the heroes thus allowing convinced Ceyx to consult an oracle about his journey. When Alcyone learned of what Ceyx
them to continue on. Orpheus also saved the Argonauts from the Sirens, he played his lyre so planned to do she was overwhelmed with grief and terror. She told Ceyx that he should not
as to hypnotize the Sirens and drive out all thoughts except the longing to hear more of his make this voyage for it was known how powerful the winds upon the sea are. Alcyone
sweet music. The Argonauts than sailed off and set there course, if it were not for Orpheus the requested that if Ceyx go on the voyage that he take her with him for as they could endure
Argonauts surely would have become defunct. anything that comes as longs as they were together.

It is not told where he met his wife and how he courted her, but it is known that no maiden Ceyx was deeply moved by here love for him as it was no better than his love for her, but he
Orpheus desired could have resisted the power of his music. Sadly immediately after the held stead fast on his decision. Ceyx set out to sea and that very night a fierce storm broke
wedding as Eurydice, his wife, walked in a meadow with her bridesmaids, a viper stung her over the sea. The winds all met in a mad hurricane and sheets of rain poured from the
and she died. Orpheus grief was so great that he vowed to go down to the world of death and heavens. All the men on the boat, quivering with fear, except one man Ceyx who had the of
try to bring Eurydice back. As he played his lyre, Cerberus relaxed his guard; the wheel of Ixion Alcyone in his mind as he rejoiced at her safety. Her name was on his lips as the ship sank and
stood motionless; Sisiphus sat at rest upon his stone; Tantalus forgot his thirst; for the first time the waters closed over him.
the faces of the horrific Furies, were wet with tears.
Alcyone counted off the days. She kept herself busy weaving a robe for her husband to give to
No one under his spell could refuse him. The ruler of Hades and his queen granted Orpheus' him upon his return and she made another robe for herself to be lovely in when he first saw
wish and summoned Eurydice and gave her to him, but upon one condition: that he would not her. Many times a day she prayed to the gods for him, to Juno most of all. The goddess was
look back at her as she followed him, until they reached the upper world. As they exited the touched by the prayers for Alcyone did not know she was praying for a man who had fell to
underworld, Orpheus knew Eurydice was following him but he longed to make sure. As he death. Juno summoned her messenger Iris and ordered her to go to the house of Somnus,
stepped out of the darkness into the light he turned back, but it was too soon Eurydice still God of Sleep, and bid him send a dream to Alcyone to tell her the truth about her husband.
hadn't exited the cavern and as he reached for her she disappeared with one last word
"Farewell." The old God of Sleep aroused his son, Morpheus, skilled in assuming the form of any and
every human being, and he gave him Juno's orders. With noiseless wings he set forth and flew
He attempted to rush after her, but the gods would not consent to allowing Orpheus to enter through the night and stood by Alcyone's bed. He had taken on the face of Ceyx drowned and
the underworld a second time, while he was still alive. Overcome with grief, he forsook the dripping with water. As Ceyx had told Alcyone what happened on the ship she began to wake
company of men and wandered through the wild playing his melodious lyre. At last, a band of up as she did she reached to grasp Ceyx but it was to late he was gone. She told herself, "I will
Maenads came upon him, they mutilated Orpheus, tearing him limb from limb, and flung his not leave you, my husband; I will not try to live."
head into the swift river Hebrus. The Muses discovered his head at the Lesbian shore, still
without change the head was intact. His limbs were gathered and placed in a tomb at the foot As the first rays of sunlight shone into her abode, she went to the shore, to the place where
of Mount Olympus, and there to this day, the nightingales sing more sweetly than anywhere Ceyx had first departed. As she gazed seaward, for off in the water she saw something
else. floating. The tide was setting and it brought this object closer and closer until she knew it was a
dead body. Now it was close to the headland and she realized it was Ceyx, her husband. She
Ceyx and Alcyone ran and leaped into the water crying, "Husband, dearest!" and then instead of sinking into the
waves she began to fly over them. She had wings; her body was covered with feathers. She
The story is written by Ovid. had been changed into a bird. The gods were kind. They did the same with Ceyx. Ceyx joined
her in there flight, there love was unchanged. They are always seen together, flying and riding her wrist; blood was pulsing there. "Venus," he thought, "This was the goddess' doing." With
the waves. unutterable gratitude and joy, he put his arms around his love and saw her smile into his eyes
and blush.
Every year there are seven days on end in which the sea lies still and calm. These are the
days when Alcyone broods over her nest floating on the sea. After the young birds are hatched Venus herself graced their marriage with her presence, but it is not known what happened after
the charm is broken; but each and every winter these days of peace come, and they are called that only that he soon named her Galatea, and that their son, Paphos, gave his name to Venus'
after her, Alcyon, or more commonly Halcyon days. favorite city.

Pygmalion and Galatea Baucis and Philemon

This story is written by Ovid. This story is written by Ovid.

Pygmalion, a gifted young sculptor of Cyprus, was a women-hater. He resolved never to marry. In the Phrygian hill-country, there were once two trees which all peasants near and far pointed
His art, he convinced himself, was enough for him. Nevertheless, the statue that he gave and out as a great marvel, and no wonder, for one was and oak and the other a linden, yet they
devoted his life to was that of a women. He was bent on forming the perfect women, one that grew from a single trunk. The story of how this came about is proof of the immeasurable power
no man had seen before. of the gods, and also of the way they reward the humble and religious.

He worked on it daily and it grew ever beautiful as his skillful fingers caressed it. When nothing Sometimes when Jupiter grew tired of eating ambrosia, drinking nectar, and even a little weary
could be added to make the statue perfect, a strange fate befitted its creator, Pygmalion had of hearing Apollo's lyre and watching the Graces dance, he would come down to earth. He
fallen in love with it. would disguise himself as a mere mortal and would often travel with Mercury for he was
shrewd and resourceful. On this voyage to earth, it was their attempt to see what hospitality lie
He kissed those enticing lips - they were unresponsive; he took her in his arms - she remained on earth, for it was he who was protector of all who seek shelter in a strange land.
a cold and passive. For a time he tried to pretend, as children do with their toys. He would
dress her in rich robes and imagine her affection responses and he would tuck her into bed as The two gods accordingly, took on the appearance of lowly vagabonds. They walked door to
children do their dolls. door asking each home owner to admit them and provide food, but none would let them enter
and the door was often barred to them. However as they reached the last house, one of which
This singular passion did not long remain concealed from the Goddess of Passionate Love, was poorer than all the rest, the door opened and a warm and cheerful voice bade them enter.
Venus. Venus was rarely interested in things that came her way, but this managed to grab her
attention for it was a new kind of love. She was determined to help out this young man. As they entered, the old man set a bench near the fire and told them to rest and stretch out
their tired limbs. The old women threw a soft covering over it. Her name was Philemon, she
The feast day of Venus was, of course, especially honored in Cyprus, the island that first told the strangers, and her husband's Baucis. As the visitors sat at the dining table, they
received the goddess after she rose from the sea foam. Many a young man and women were noticed that one leg was propped up by a piece of broken dish for it was shorter than the rest.
bearing gifts of great magnitude, and so too was Pygmalion. Venus know what he desired and
she favored his prayer by making the flame at the altar leap up to the heavens three times. As they served the food and the diluted wine, the couple realized that the mixing bowl kept full
no matter how much had been taken out. As they saw this, their eyes were overcome with
Having noticed this good omen, Pygmalion sought out his house and his love. He caresses her terror and dropping their eyes they prayed silently. Instead of trembling, they told their guests
and than started back. Was it self-deception or did she really feel warm to his touch? He kissed they had a goose and the old man attempted to catch the goose but failed in doing so. But
her lips, a long lingering kiss, and felt them grow soft beneath his lips. He touched her arms, when both painted exhausted from the chase the gods felt that is was time to take some
her shoulders; their hardness vanished. It was like watching wax soften in the sun. He clasped action. "You have been hosts to gods," they said, "and you shall have your reward. This wicked
country which despises the poor shall be punished, but not you." They then led the elderly it took some time, but as was expected Apollo caught up to her as she reached the bank of her
couple out of the hut and then the elderly couple so in amazement as the country-side side that father's river. Bark began to form around her enclosing her; leaves set forth. She had been
they had known before had disappeared. A great lake surrounded them. There lowly hut began changed into a tree, a laurel.
to change into a stately pillared temple of whitest marble with a golden roof.
Apollo watched the transformation in grief and dismay. "O fairest of maidens, you are lost to
The god granted the two a wish, and as they did so they couple huddled and whispered. The me," he mourned. "But at least you shall be my tree. With your leaves my victors shall wreathe
couple had two requests, one that they become priest of this temple and two that they never their brows. You shall have your part in all my triumphs. Apollo and his laurel shall be joined
die alone, and that they may die together. The gods agreed and were pleased with the two. A together wherever songs are sung and stories are told."
long time they served in the the grand edifice. By now they were in extreme old age. Suddenly
as they exchanged memories of there former life, each saw the other put forth leaves. Hen The exquisite shinning-leaved tree appeared to nod its waving head as if in happy consent.
bark grew around them both. They had time only to cry, "Farewell, dear companion." As the
words passed their lips they became trees, but still they were together. The linden and the oak Alpheus and Arethusa
grew from one trunk.
This story is written by Ovid.
Arethusa, yet another huntress who loved the comfort of the deep woods. She detested love
This story is written by the 3rd century poet, Theocritus.
and marriage and vowed never to marry.
This young man, whose name is so famous, has a very short history. Some poets say he was a
One day, as she was tired and hot from the chase, she came upon a crystal-clear river deeply
kind, some a hunter, but most of them say he was a shepherd. All agree that he was of
shaded in silvery willows. She undressed and bathed in the river, which was a place that was
surpassing beauty and that was the cause of his unique fate. As Endymion guarded his flock of
perfect for bathing. For a while, she swam to and fro, until she began to feel something below
sheep she, the Moon Selene, often looked over him in love. She often came down to Earth to
her. She sprang up from the river and stood on the bank, as she heard a voice that said "Why
caress Endymion and stare at his gracefulness in sleep. In all the stories about him he sleeps
such haste fairest maiden?" Without looking back she fled in terror. With all the speed that she
forever, immortal, but never conscious. Night after night the Moon covered him with her kisses.
could muster up, she kept running and running, but still she was pursued by one stranger, he
It is said that this eternal slumber was her doing. She lulled him to sleep so as to be able to
told her he was the god of the river, Alpheus, and that he was following her only out of absolute
find him and caress him as she so pleased. But it is said, too, that her passion brings her only
love. But she wanted no part of him and yet he unsparingly followed. Arethusa called to her
a burden of pain, fraught with many sighs.
god, Artemis, she changed her into a spring of water, and split the earth so a tunnel was made
under the sea from Greece to Sicily. Arethusa plunged down and emerged in Ortygia, where
Daphne the place in which her spring bubbles up is holy ground, sacred to Artemis.
This story is by Ovid. But it is said that she is still not free of Alpheus. The story is that the god changed back into a
river, followed her through the tunnel and the now his water mingles with hers in the fountain.
This young lady, a love-marriage hating young huntress who are met with so often in the They say that often Greek flowers are seen coming up from the bottom, and that if a wooden
Mythological stories. She said to have been Apollo's first love. Daphne did not want any mortal cup is thrown into the Alpheus in Greece, it would reappear in Arethusa's well in Sicily.
or immortal lovers. Her father was the river-god Peneus. Peneus grew tired because she
refused the hand of all young men who wooed her and often asked Daphne "Am I never to
have a grandson?" She insisted on being like Diana. He would yield and she would be off deep
in the woods, a huntress at work. But at last Apollo saw her, and everything ended for her. As
she was hunting Apollo began to chase after her but seeing as she was a highly skilled runner