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"You also, Amyclides [i.e. Hyakinthos, son of Amyklas], would have been set in the sky! if Phoebus [Apollon] had been given time which the cruel fates denied for you. But in a way you are immortal too. Though you have died. Always when warm spring drives winter out, and Aries (the Ram) succeeds to Pisces (watery Fish), you rise and blossom on the green turf. And the love my father had for you was deeper than he felt for others. Delphi center of the world, had no presiding guardian, while the god frequented the Eurotas and the land of Sparta, never fortified with walls. His zither and his bow no longer fill his eager mind and now without a thought of dignity, he carried nets and held the dogs in leash, and did not hesitate to go with Hyacinthus on the rough, steep mountain ridges; and by all of such associations, his love was increased. Now Titan was about midway, betwixt the coming and the banished night, and stood at equal distance from those two extremes. Then, when the youth and Phoebus were well stripped, and gleaming with rich olive oil, they tried a friendly contest with the discus. First Phoebus, well-poised, sent it awhirl through air, and cleft the clouds beyond with its broad weight; from which at length it fell down to the earth, a certain evidence of strength and skill. Heedless of danger Taenarides [Hyacinthus] rushed for eager glory of the game, resolved to get the discus. But it bounded back from off the hard earth, and struck full against your face, O Hyacinthus! Deadly pale the God's face went--as pallid as the boy's. With care he lifted the sad huddled form.

The kind god tries to warm you back to life, and next endeavors to attend your wound, and stay your parting soul with healing herbs. His skill is no advantage, for the wound is past all art of cure. As if someone, when in a garden, breaks off violets, poppies, or lilies hung from golden stems, then drooping they must hang their withered heads, and gaze down towards the earth beneath them; so, the dying boy's face droops, and his bent neck, a burden to itself, falls back upon his shoulder : `You are fallen in your prime defrauded of your youth, O Oebalides [Hyakinthos]!' Moaned Apollo. `I can see in your sad wound my own guilt, and you are my cause of grief and self-reproach. My own hand gave you death unmerited--I only can be charged with your destruction.--What have I done wrong? Can it be called a fault to play with you? Should loving you be called a fault? And oh, that I might now give up my life for you! Or die with you! But since our destinies prevent us you shall always be with me, and you shall dwell upon my care-filled lips. The lyre struck by my hand, and my true songs will always celebrate you. A new flower you shall arise, with markings on your petals, close imitation of my constant moans: and there shall come another to be linked with this new flower, a valiant hero shall be known by the same marks upon its petals.'

And while Phoebus, Apollo, sang these words with his truth-telling lips, behold the blood of Hyacinthus, which had poured out on the ground beside him and there stained the grass, was changed from blood; and in its place a flower, more beautiful than Tyrian dye, sprang up. It almost seemed a lily, were it not that one was purple and the other white. But Phoebus was not satisfied with this. For it was he who worked the miracle of his sad words inscribed on flower leaves. These letters AI, AI, are inscribed on them. And Sparta certainly is proud to honor Hyacinthus as her son; and his loved fame endures; and every year they celebrate his solemn festival."


taken from THIS fabulous web source. 


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Prince Hyacinthe of Sparta

February 2012


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