Poem 111 – Hyacintos, Part 11

The sun flickered, the wind died,
But still the boy did lie.
The gods stood, they both did weep,
But neither god could speak.
They stood in silence, immortal, undying,
As their love lay in his blood, defiling,
His mortal frame that had been so dear.

But who could say words worthy of being said?
It was too late, the blood had been shed,
Still Zephyr stepped from out of the sky,
With sorrow in his godly eye.
He stared at Apollo, the thief, the liar,
While Apollo glanced back at the coward, destroyer.
Zephyr stepped forwards to gaze at his love,
His broken heart torn anew,
While Apollo looked longingly at the lips that were broken,
At the laughter still etched on his face.
There were no words to say, and Zephyr said

Nothing.
He looked the thief in his sorrowing eyes,
And bent his immortal back, bowing to Apollo.
The sun god glared, and inclined his heavy head,
But when he raised it Zephyr had gone,
A mere phantom in the wind.

Now Apollo wept, ‘Ai ai! Ai ai!
What misfortune is mine now Hyacintos has died!’
The wailing winds, they echoed his cry,
And Apollo knelt where his lover did lie,
As his hair was tossed in the wind.
He raised a flower from out of the gore,
‘Now your name will be remembered forevermore,
In beauty as in life, not stained by bitterness and blood.
Farewell, Hyacintos, oh man that I loved.’

With that, he departed, and left on the hill,
Beautiful Hyacintos, the man he had killed.

***

Dear readers,

For those of who who are mortified by the story, be relieved – there is one more section to go. I won’t deny that this makes me a little sad – I’ve grown very attached to these characters, and am sorry to let them go. However, people seem to have liked the concept, so I might do more of this long-form poetry in the future. The Hyacinth myth is quite a nice one, although which flower it is is disputed – it could be an iris, or one of many other types of flower. Curiously, not many people seem to support the idea of it being the hyacinth as it’s known today, since we don’t know which flower the Greeks called ‘hyacinth’. But I am fond of both irises and hyacinths, so I do not mind.

Since this is the penultimate instalment, I’d love to hear your comments – did you enjoy the poems? If so, why? And if not, is there anything you’d change? And also, perhaps most interestingly, who is the villain of the piece, if there is one?

Kind regards,

The Hapless Neo-Romantic

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