CLYTIE, THE HELIOTROPE
BY OVID (ADAPTED)
THERE was once a Nymph named Clytie, who gazed ever at
Apollo as he drove his sun-chariot through the heavens. She
watched him as he
 rose in the east attended by the rosy-fingered Dawn and the
dancing Hours. She gazed as he ascended the heavens, urging
his steeds still higher in the fierce heat of the noonday.
She looked with wonder as at evening he guided his steeds
downward to their many-colored pastures under the western
sky, where they fed all night on ambrosia.
Apollo saw not Clytie. He had no thought for her, but he
shed his brightest beams upon her sister the white Nymph
LeucothoŽ. And when Clytie perceived this she was filled
with envy and grief.
Night and day she sat on the bare ground weeping. For nine
days and nine nights she never raised herself from the
earth, nor did she take food or drink; but ever she turned
her weeping eyes toward the sun-god as he moved through the
And her limbs became rooted to the ground. Green leaves
enfolded her body. Her beautiful face was concealed by tiny
flowers, violet-colored and sweet with perfume. Thus was she
changed into a flower and her roots held her fast to the
ground; but ever she turned her blossom-covered face toward
the sun, following with eager gaze his daily flight. In vain
were her sorrow and tears, for Apollo regarded her not.
And so through the ages has the Nymph turned
 her dew-washed face toward the heavens, and men no longer
call her Clytie, but the sun-flower, heliotrope.
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