John Palcewski's Journal

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Ovid's Metamorphoses : Echo and Narcissus
forioscribe




One day, when she [Echo] observed
Narcissus wandering in the pathless woods,
she loved him and she followed him, with soft
and stealthy tread.--The more she followed him
the hotter did she burn, as when the flame
flares upward from the sulphur on the torch.
Oh, how she longed to make her passion known!
To plead in soft entreaty! to implore his love!






[But] He [Narcissus] flies from her and as he leaves her says,
"Take off your hands! you shall not fold your arms
around me. Better death than such a one
should ever caress me!" Naught she answers save,
"Caress me!"





Thus rejected she lies hid
in the deep woods, hiding her blushing face
with the green leaves; and ever after lives
concealed in lonely caverns in the hills.
But her great love increases with neglect...





her sorrow-filled body wastes away,
wakeful with grief; leanness shrivels up
her skin, and all her lovely features melt,
as if dissolved upon the wafting winds--
nothing remains except her bones and voice--
her voice continues, in the wilderness;
her bones have turned to stone. She lies concealed
in the wild woods, nor is she ever seen
on lonely mountain range; for, though we hear
her calling in the hills, 'tis but a voice,
a voice that lives, that lives among the hills.







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