Le Cirque du Eller

“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
― Socrates

When Apollo, fated by Cupid's love-exciting arrow, sees the nymph Daphne, he is filled with wonder at her beauty and consumed by desire. But Daphne has been fated by Cupid’s love-repelling arrow and denies the love of men. As the nymph flees he relentlessly chases her—boasting, pleading, and promising everything. When her strength is finally spent she prays to her father Peneus:

'Destroy the beauty that has injured me, or change the body that destroys my life.' Before her prayer was ended, torpor seized on all her body, and a thin bark closed around her gentle bosom, and her hair became as moving leaves; her arms were changed to waving branches, and her active feet as clinging roots were fastened to the ground—her face was hidden with encircling leaves.

Apollo loved the graceful tree, clung to it and kissed the wood:

But since thou canst not be my spouse surely thou shalt be my tree. Thee O laurel my hair, thee my lyres, thee my quivers shall always have … And as my head is youthful with unshorn locks, do thou likewise wear always evergreen honours of foliage. The laurel nodded assent with its branches lately made.
Translation taken from Wikipedia.

(Source: Wikipedia)

1 year ago

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    And this is why I find the Latin sources, because look at those poetic early 20th century translations! (It’s actually...
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    Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne
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