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Enchanted Tulips and Other Verses for Children. Keary, M. (Maud).
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page: 15

THE STORY OF HYACINTH AND APOLLO

THE CHILD, THE SUN, AND THE WIND

  • IT chanced upon a summer’s day,
  • Within a deep wood far away,
  • There wandered forth a little child
  • Midst flowers and birds and breezes wild.
  • Now running here, now resting there,
  • As bright, as light, as free as air,
  • The happy little Hyacinth strayed,
  • From flower to flower, by sun and shade.
  • A wind called Zephyr saw him pass
  • With skipping feet across the grass,
  • And ran before and clung behind,
  • And strove his tripping feet to bind.
page: 16
  • Because the Zephyr loved him so,
  • He would not let that fair child go,
  • But kept beseeching, “Stay, and be
  • A little playfellow to me!”
  • Still Hyacinth had naught to say,
  • Nor would he with the Zephyr stay,
  • But skipped aside and left the wind
  • Another playfellow to find.
  • And next the sun up in the air
  • Caught sight of Hyacinth’s shining hair,
  • As Hyacinth ran the tall trees under,
  • And King Apollo paused in wonder.
  • “Stop! Hyacinth,” cried King Apollo,
  • “You run too quick for me to follow;
  • One little minute wait for me,
  • And I your playfellow will be.”
  • Because Apollo from the blue
  • Had fallen in love with Hyacinth too,
  • So down he came with smiling face
  • And stayed upon a mossy place.
page: 17
  • There sun and child in merry play
  • Sported full many an hour away,
  • “Who can throw farthest, you or I?
  • This ring I’ll cast, then you shall try.”
  • But Zephyr, creeping round about,
  • Spied their pleasant pastime out,
  • Which made him angry feel and sore,
  • And he grew angrier more and more,
  • Until a cruel purpose grew,
  • And he determined what to do;
  • His wicked will at once consenting
  • Unto the crime of his inventing.
  • For as the King, in act to fling,
  • Raised high in air the iron ring,
  • Zephyr ran and took his stand
  • Just underneath Apollo’s hand.
  • Thence blew the ring back swift and straight,
  • Steady and strong with all its weight,
  • So that it struck on Hyacinth’s head,
  • And lo! the pretty child fell dead!
page: 18
  • Then all about the leafy wood
  • There streamed out Hyacinth’s purple blood,
  • Which wrote in letters sad and plain,
  • “Woe! Woe! for Hyacinth is slain!”
  • Back to the sky Apollo flew,
  • And far away the Zephyr blew;
  • But on the ground where Hyacinth died
  • Sweet flowers grew and multiplied.
  • Hyacinths that, with happy faces,
  • Still beautify earth’s lonely places,
  • Loved by the sun and breezes wild,
  • In memory of the winsome child.

E.K.

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