Mythology

Venus was accidentally wounded one day by one of Cupid's arrows. She then looked upon Adonis and was captivated by him. She followed him everywhere and became his companion. Although she had warned him to stay away from the wild animals while hunting, he was mortally wounded by a wild boar. As he lay there dying, she lamented over him and begged him to awaken for one last kiss.

-from an elegy intended to remember Adonis, translated by Andrew Lang

Awake, Adonis, for a little while, and kiss me yet again, the latest kiss! ...This kiss I will treasure, even as thyself, Adonis, since, ah, ill-fated thou art fleeing me, thou art fleeing far, Adonis, and art faring to Acheron, to that hateful king and cruel, while wretched yet I live, being a goddess, and may not follow thee! Persephone, take thou my lover, my lord, thyself art stronger than I, and all lovely things drift down to thee. But I am ill-fated, inconsolable is my anguish; and I lament mine Adonis, dead to me, and I have no rest for sorrow.


Flora was the goddess of flowers
and the lover of Zephyrus.

'Flora'
by Evelyn de Morgan

Nausicaa was a princess who met Ulysses while she was bathing and washing laundry in the river. Hearing of his travels and misfortunes, she gave him food, clothing, and showed him the way back to her home in Phaeacia. There, he was welcomed by the king and queen and allowed to rest.

'Nausicaa from Homer's Ulysses'
by Frederic Lord Leighton


Proserpine was the embodiment of spring. While picking flowers and singing one day, she was kidnapped by Pluto to be his bride of the underworld. Sadly, Proserpine begged to go back to be with her mother. Pluto agreed to allow her to go back for half the year, but the other half, she must live with him. Thus, it is said that in the cold winter months, it is then that Proserpine is reigning in the underworld. Proserpine soon came comfortable with her new role, and her heart hardened as the Queen of Hades.

from Swinburne's Garden of Proserpine

No growth of moor or coppice,
No heather-flower or vine,
But bloomless buds of poppies,
Green grapes of Proserpine,
Pale beds of blowing rushes,
Where no leaf blooms or blushes
Save this whereout she crushes
For dead men deadly wine.


imageRead 'The Garden of Proserpine'
by Algernon Charles Swinburne