THE ANCIENT MYTH OF NARCISSUS
THE LONGEST LIST OF THE LONGEST
STUFF AT THE LONGEST DOMAIN NAME AT LONG LAST
Narcissus - Greek Mythology
In Greek mythology, Narcissus was the son of the river
god of Cephisus. He was born a very beautiful child and upon his birth his
mother asked Tiresias if Narcissus would have a long and fulfilling life.
Tiresias replied, “If he never knows himself.”
The nymphs of the mountains loved Narcissus and
many of them had tried to get him to return their love but he had rejected all
of them. One day when Narcissus was out chasing deer in the woods, the nymph
Echo saw him. Echo had recently had a curse placed on her by Juno. Juno placed
the curse because Echo was very talkative and Juno had suspected one day that
her husband was in the mountains with the nymphs. Echo, knowing that her husband
was doing what Juno expected, stalled the goddess by talking to her incessantly.
Once Juno found out, the curse was placed on Echo that she would never speak her
own words again. Instead, she was forced to repeat whatever was said to her.
It was because of this curse that when Echo saw
Narcissus in the woods one day, she could not speak to him. Instead, she needed
to wait for him to say, “Who’s here?” to which Echo replied, “here.” Narcissus
asked her to show herself and upon revealing who she was Narcissus shunned her.
Echo ran into the woods and is thought to have turned to stone, destined to
repeat whatever she hears all throughout the world. One of the nymphs upon
hearing that Narcissus had shunned yet another one of them prayed to the gods
that he would one day know what it was like to love someone dearly yet never
have that love returned. The prayer was answered.
That same day that he shunned Echo, Narcissus came
upon a body of water that was crystal-like in its clarity and was completely
undisturbed by shepherds or anyone else. Feeling quite thirsty and tired,
Narcissus stooped down to take a drink from the beautiful water but what he saw
in the water was far more beautiful than the water itself. For there was his own
reflection and he thought it to be the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He
felt the rejection of the image when he would reach out to touch it or bend down
to kiss it and the ripples in the water would make the image appear as it was
leaving, only to come back again.
Narcissus did not move from that spot by the water.
He was so in love with himself that he died where he was, looking at his own
reflection. After he died, the nymphs made a funeral pile and were prepared to
bury him but his body was never found. In the place where he sat, he left only a
single flower with vibrant yellow petals and a beautifully colored center. This
is the flower which today we call Narcissus.
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