Illustrated By Jean Young
By Michael Carson
I begin this night with a few tales of Apollo, god of “Sun, the Light, the Music and Prophecy” (Greek Gods & Goddesses), although the man was well renowned with his poetic air and regal flare, the young sun lord met his demise in the facets of love. Apollo had many lovers: mortal, immortal and both of the female and male sex, but within his quarrels, with love, he never tasted its sweet disposition.
One lover of Apollo who met his bitter end was Hyacinthus’, Apollo’s hunting partner and close lover. Apollo was warm towards this mortal and both were embellished in the fervor of loves’ wild youth. Basking underneath the boundless light of the sun and frolicking in their tracks of youth.
One day, Apollo and Hyacinthus played a game of discus wherein Apollo threw the discus so high it left the earth itself and struck Hyacinthus in the head, a fatal blow that left Hyacinthus dead in his godly lovers’ arms. Apollo tried to use all his mighty powers to bring back his departed lover but “the hurt was past the power of medicine” (Mythology Guide) and Hyacinthus tasted the bitter lead of death.
Despite the grim end to this love laced duo, out of the young mortals wound blood spilled, forming a beautiful flower, somewhat of a “resemblance of the lily, if it were not that this is purple and that silvery white” (Mythology Guide). It Is presumed that Zephyrus (The West-Wind) had thrown the disc off course and dealt the kiss of death to Hyacinthus out of pure jealousy. It proves that the gods were not all of benevolence and integrity and some delve into similar mortal fashions of envy and bloodshed.
Our mortal now so youthful and bold, now laid broken, corpse-like and cold. The wind ceased and wrought the innocence, out of his own spite and his brewing bitterness. The sun god’s rays were just too dim, for no light could animate his departed friend. A bloody crown laid by his side, a floral light crawled through its red liquid and out sprouted a petaled remembrance. A love locked in a sunless room, Apollo and Hyacinthus could never bloom. It was only death that gave birth to the flower, but alas Apollo did not have life’s power.
Photo By Val Bourne
Quintessentially the Hyacinth carries on its bloody petals through the seeds and blooms of your garden, blood-stained with the memory of the youth who was the causality of two immortal beings playing for sport. Blood soaked and tragic are these bright fluorescent perennials we love and view with esteemed effervescent light.