Sing to me Muses of what followed that boy,
The first mortal to reject his immortal love.
What came to pass to the shepherd of the hillside,
Now sweet breezes caressed him no more?
Tell me of his passions, of the glory that he gained,
The repute he earned, the discredit and shame,
The winds he longed for beneath the warming sun,
And how the death of Hyacintos was begun.
He wandered with Apollo, and his fame spread ‘cross the globe,
He travelled in the sun-chariot above.
But he returned home to his mother, and his lover to Diane,
His sister and protector from his whims.
For one strange moment, mortal and god spoke as one,
Warning those they loved so dearly to avoid what had begun.
‘My dear, you cannot do this,’ they beseeched those sorry men.
‘Why not?’ came the bold reply.
‘Apollo, you are divine,’ said Diane to her brother,
‘But you are not, Hyacintos, and I fear for you,’ said his mother.
‘A mortal should stay away from those who rule the skies above.’
‘But was not sweet Europa Zeus’ dearest love?’
‘She was a fair maiden, the fairest in all Greece!
Hyacintos may be fair, but not fair enough to disrupt the peace
Of gods,’ Diane told her brother, as Hyacintos heard the same.
Smiling, Hyacintos turned to she who bore him,
And with a carefree air,
Replied ‘I am beloved of two gods –
Who are you to say I’m not fair?
Is it that I am a man, I who take Apollo’s hand?
Zeus was smitten by Ganymede, prince of the Trojan lands.’
Apollo, having said the same, heard the same reply:
‘You compare yourself to the king of the gods,
Lord of the cloud-covered sky?
And a Prince of Troy, son of the city,
The finest place on the Aegean sea?
The arrogance! He is a shepherd.’
‘But Apollo, a god, loves me,
And I too love he!’
‘Then know your place, you foolish man,
Know that this affair cannot be!
Between a mortal of his rank and sex,
With one of our divinity!
You may have power, but you know we do not,
Cannot do such things!’
‘I will go to him as long as his love-song reaches my ears.’
‘Stay away then, stay away for him,
Do you not fear the wrath of Zephyr?’
‘I am protected by my love,
Let him send his winds from above.
I care not for his storms, or for his rage,
He had his chance, and was unmade’.
Then the moment ended, and the lovers did not heed,
The warnings from their family that they did sorely need.
Allow me to apologise for the delay. Various things got in the way of this update. It’s a little more adventurous than usual in style, but I think it works.
The Hapless Neo-Romantic