Love/Anti-Love

I have a fondness for Greek Mythology. This is a pantoum about Narcissus, a beautiful hunter who scorned all who loved him, and Echo, the nymph who fell in love with him. The Goddess Nemesis was angry when Echo died for love of Narcissus, and so punished him, justly I think, by cursing him to fall in love with his own reflection in a pond. The story in more detail can be found here:  Narcissus.

Echo and Narcissus - by John William Waterhouse

Narcissus and Echo

Narcissus, hunter, ever beauty’s friend
Maidens swoon with one glimpse of his fair face,
He disdains their love, their attentions fend,
Yet even scorned, still they love his grace.

Maidens swoon with one glimpse of his fair face.
Nymph, Echo, loved him, repeating, “Who’s there?”
Still even when scorned, she loved his grace
Her echo a cry for his love despaired.

Lost Echo, followed, repeating, “Who’s there?”
Died, wasted for love, finally at peace
Her echo a cry for his love; despair,
But Nemesis saw her love, her life cease

When Echo died, starved, finally at peace
then Narcissus was cursed to fall in love
when Nemesis saw Echo’s fair life cease.
Loving himself, his own likeness thereof,

so Narcissus was cursed to fall in love.
He’d disdained all love, all attentions fend,
until seeing his own reflection thereof,
Narcissus, hunter, ever beauty’s friend.

 

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