Cupid’s the known archer, but
Apollo’s quite the the archer himself.
He likes to intimade anyone who thinks of picking up a bow.
Cupid was the butt of all his jokes.
He laughed at him openly in front of his elders,
would fabricate rumors.
Make Cupid’s life seem like a farce.
Then one day he made the fatal mistake:
"Show me the power of your arrows, little boy."
So Cupid show him.
Straight through the heart with a golden tip.
Seems like a gift.
To bless someone with love.
No, it was a curse indeed.
Apollo’s eyes fell on a beautiful wood nymph.
A green eyed little sprite named Daphne.
Without a second thought he swooped down from Olympus and
announced his love.
"You shall be mine, for I am Apollo!"
We know how that bit goes.
But Daphne was not your usual nymph.
She had never to that day accepted a man’s advances.
She was the only one of her kind who was not prone to making
mischief with the men who wander through the woods.
She spent her time in the company of woodland creatures, hanging
from the branches of ancient trees.
She refused him.
She refused again.
And then began the chase.
None make their way through the woods faster than a Dryad,
but none hunts their prayer faster than a God of the hunt.
Through glades and thickets they ran,
for hours and hours,
all the while Apollo gaining on her inches at a time.
She could see her fate.
She refused to be taken by him.
Between her heaving breaths she began to pray to the spirits of the
forest to deliver her from,
as she saw it,
She knew the spirits would answer her prayers,
but she knew there would be a price.
To spend her life as a god’s plaything was not an option.
She accepted the consequences of her deliverance.
And suddenly she could no longer run,
and her limbs were growing stiff.
She looked down to see her legs begin to shift and twist into roots,
and her skin transform into coarse bark.
The last thing Daphne ever saw was her hands begin to sprout leaves and branches off toward the sun.
Where there was once a happy being,
now stands a Hyacinth tree.
Mighty in its size and sadness.
And where there was once a quiet glade,
is now a raging river,
created from Apollo’s tears.
Those branches that he wears on his head
are torn from her limbs.
Apollo & Daphne.