Oscar Wilde as Narcissus, by Thomas Nast (1894)
[From: Poems in Prose: "The Disciple",
published in 1894 in The Fortnightly Review.]
When Narcissus died, the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it comfort.
And when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup of sweet water into a cup of salt tears, they loosened the green tresses of their hair and said,
“We do not wonder that you should mourn in this manner for Narcissus, so beautiful was he.”
“But was Narcissus beautiful ?” said the pool.
“Who should know better than you ?” asked the Oreads. "Us did he ever pass by, but you sought he for, and would lie on your banks and look down at you, and in the mirror of your waters he would mirror his own beauty.”
And the pool answered,
“But I loved Narcissus because, as he lay on my banks and looked down at me, in the mirror of his eyes I saw ever my own beauty mirrored.”
– Oscar Wilde
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