hen 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 waters into a cup of salt tears,
they loosened the green tresses of their hair and cried to the
pool 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 that better
than you?' answered the Oreads. 'Us did he ever pass by, but
you he sought for, and would lie on your banks and look down
at you, and in the mirror of your waters he would mirror his
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.'
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Oscar Wilde Collection