The bright, joyful god Apollo knows both sadness and grief. He experienced grief shortly after defeating Python. When Apollo, proud of his victory, stood over the monster slain by his arrows, he saw the young god of love near him Eros pulling his golden bow. Laughing, Apollo told him:
- Why do you need such a formidable weapon, child? Leave it to me to send the striking golden arrows with which I have just killed Python. Do you want to be equal in glory with me, the Archer? Do you really want to achieve greater fame than I do?
The offended Eros proudly replied to Apollo:
- Your arrows, Phoebus-Apollo, do not miss, they strike everyone, but my arrow will hit you.
Eros flapped his golden wings and in the blink of an eye flew up to the high Parnassus. There he took two arrows out of his quiver: one that wounded the heart and caused love, he pierced the heart of Apollo with it, the other that killed love, he let it into the heart of the nymph Daphne, the daughter of the river god Penea.
I once met the beautiful Daphne Apollo and fell in love with her. But as soon as Daphne saw the golden-haired Apollo, she started running with the speed of the wind, because the arrow of Eros, killing love, pierced her heart. The silver-armed god hurried after her.
- Stop, beautiful nymph, - Apollo cried, - why are you running from me, like a sheep pursued by a wolf, Like a dove fleeing from an eagle, you are rushing! After all, I'm not your enemy! Look, you hurt your feet on the sharp thorns of the thorn. Oh, wait, stop! After all, I am Apollo, the son of the thunderer Zeus, and not a mere mortal shepherd,
But the beautiful Daphne was running faster and faster. As if on wings, Apollo rushes after her. He's getting closer. It's about to overtake! Daphne can feel his breath. Her strength is leaving her. Daphne pleaded to her father Penei:
- Father Penei, help me! Part quickly, earth, and swallow me up! Oh, take away this image from me, it causes me nothing but suffering!
As soon as she said this, her limbs immediately went numb. The bark covered her delicate body, her hair turned into leaves, and her hands, raised to the sky, turned into branches. For a long time the sad Apollo stood before the laurel and finally said:
- Let a wreath of only your greenery adorn my head, let from now on you decorate my kifara and my quiver with your leaves. May your greenery never wither, O laurel. Stay forever green!
And the laurel rustled softly in response to Apollo with its thick branches and, as if in agreement, bowed its green top.