Tebtynis Papyrus

Neither the Athenian narcissus, nor the Lacedaemonian hyacinth, nor the crocus was from the beginning a flower; and neither child Hylas in Thrace, nor the cypress tree in Crete, nor the daphne was from the beginning a plant. But Crocus was a Sicilian lad, child Hylas was a beautiful Thracian, and Cypress was a beautiful boy. Daphne was a young virgin maiden, daughter of the river, Narcissus was a beautiful Boetian boy, and Hyakinthos was a young Spartan man in the bloom of his youth. Herakles had Hylas, and Dionysus took him. Crocus joined Dionysus in his Bacchic revels. Nymphs seized Narcissus, and Apollo took Hyakinthos and Daphne. Nymphs killed Crocus, nymphs carried away Hylas, Cypress threw himself down from rocks and the earth received Daphne when she was fleeing. Narcissus in his arrogance loving himself like another killed himself. Only one flower, the flower of Antinous, is sweeter than all by far, not pale like the narcissus, pained by his taking; and not pale like the hyacinth, imitating the color of a corpse. Someone will gather garlands of lamented names, and will lament more the youth of the dying men.

 

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