But who does not honor the golden one Aphrodite, who rejects her gifts, who resists her power, is mercilessly punished by the goddess of love. So she punished the son of the river god Kefis and nymphs Lavriona, beautiful but cold, proud Narcissus. He loved no one but himself, he considered himself worthy of love.
Once, when he got lost in a dense forest while hunting, a nymph saw him Echo. The nymph could not speak to Narcissus herself. The punishment of the goddess Hera weighed on her: the nymph Echo had to be silent, and she could only answer questions by repeating their last words. Echo looked with delight at the slender handsome young man, hidden from him by the forest thicket. Narcissus looked around, not knowing where to go, and shouted loudly:
- Hey, who's here?
- Here! - there was a loud Echo response.
- Come here! Narcissus shouted.
- Here! Echo replied.
The beautiful Narcissus looks around with amazement. There is no one. Surprised by this, he exclaimed loudly:
- Here, come to me soon!
And Echo responded joyfully.
- To me!
Stretching out her hands, a nymph from the forest hurries to Narcissus, but angrily pushed her away by a beautiful young man. He hurriedly left the nymph and disappeared into the dark forest.
The rejected nymph also hid in the impenetrable thicket of the forest, She suffers from love for Narcissus, does not show herself to anyone and only responds sadly to every exclamation of the unfortunate Echo.
And Narcissus remained as proud, narcissistic as ever. He rejected everyone's love. Many nymphs were made unhappy by his pride. And once one of the nymphs rejected by him exclaimed:
- Love you too, Narcissus! And don't let the person you fall in love with reciprocate!
The nymph's wish was fulfilled. The goddess of love Aphrodite was angry that Narcissus rejected her gifts, and punished him. One spring, while hunting, Narcissus came to the stream and wanted to drink the icy water. Neither a shepherd nor mountain goats have ever touched the waters of this stream, a broken branch has never fallen into the stream, even the wind has not brought the petals of lush flowers into the stream. Its water was clear and transparent. As in a mirror, everything was reflected in it: the bushes that grew along the shore, and slender cypresses, and the blue sky. Narcissus bent down to the stream, leaning his hands on a stone protruding from the water, and was reflected in the stream all in all its glory. It was then that Aphrodite's punishment befell him. In amazement, he looks at his reflection in the water, and a strong love takes possession of him. With eyes full of love, he looks at his image in the water, it beckons him, calls, stretches out his hands to him. Narcissus bends down to the mirror of the waters to kiss his reflection, but kisses only the icy, transparent water of the stream. Narcissus has forgotten everything: he does not leave the stream; he does not stop admiring himself. He doesn't eat, drink, or sleep. Finally, full of despair, Narcissus exclaims, stretching out his hands to his reflection:
- 0, who suffered so cruelly! We are separated not by mountains, not by seas, but only by a strip of water, and yet we cannot be together with you. Come out of the stream!Narcissus thought, looking at his reflection in the water. Suddenly a terrible thought came to mind, and he quietly whispers to his reflection, bending down to the water itself:
- Oh, woe! I'm afraid I've fallen in love with myself! After all, you are me! I love myself. I feel like I don't have much left to live. As soon as I bloom, I will wither and descend into the gloomy realm of shadows. Death does not frighten me; death will bring an end to the torments of love.
Narcissus's powers are leaving, he turns pale and already feels the approach of death, but still can't tear himself away from his reflection. Narcissus is crying. His tears fall into the clear waters of the stream. Circles went around the mirror surface of the water and a beautiful image disappeared. Narcissus exclaimed with fear:
- Oh, where are you! Come back! Stay! Don't leave me. After all, it's cruel. Oh, let me at least look at you!
But now the water is calm again, the reflection has appeared again, Narcissus is looking at him again without looking away. It melts like dew on flowers in the rays of the hot sun. The unfortunate nymph also sees Echo, as Narcissus suffers. She still loves him; Narcissus' suffering squeezes her heart with pain.
- Oh, woe! Narcissus exclaims.
- Oh, woe! Echo replies.
Finally, Narcissus exclaimed in a weak voice, looking at his reflection:
And even quieter the response of the nymph Echo sounded faintly:
- Goodbye!Narcissus' head bent down on the green coastal grass, and the darkness of death covered his eyes. Narcissus died. The younger nymphs were crying in the forest, and Echo was crying. The nymphs prepared a grave for the young Narcissus, but when they came for his body, they did not find him. In the place where Narcissus' head was bent on the grass, a white fragrant flower grew - the flower of death; Narcissus is his name,