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  • Writer's pictureGalia

DAPHNE and APOLLO


So ran the god and girl, he sped by hope and she by fear. But he, borne on the wings of love, ran faster, gave her no respite, hot on her flying heels and breathing close upon her shoulders and her tumbling hair. Her strength was gone; the travail of her flight vanquished her, and her face was deathly pale. And then she was at the river, swift Peneus, and called; `Help, father, help! (…) her tender bosom was wrapped in thin smooth bark, her slender arms were changed to branches and her hair to leaves; her feet but now so swift were anchored fast in numb stiff roots, her face and had became the crown of a green tree; all that remained of Daphne was her shining loveliness. And still Phoebus loved her; on the trunk he placed his hand and felt beneath the bark her heart still beating, held in his embrace her branches, pressed his kisses on the wood; yet from his kisses the wood recoiled. `My bride’, he said, `since you can never be, at least, sweet laurel, you shall be my tree. My lure, my locks, my quiver you shall wreathe.’ . . . Thus spoke the god; the laurel in assent inclined her new-made branches and bent down, or seemed to bend, her head, her leafy crown.” Ovid, Heroides 15. 23 ff

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